The Value of Ecosystem Services and the Risk to Alpine County’s Economy from Climate Change

Our July meeting over Zoom will feature a video presentation on the Value of Ecosystem Services and the Risk to Alpine County’s Economy from Climate Change.  This is a product of the Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership (ESSRP) and specifically addresses the impacts to the region of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo counties.  The forests and watersheds of the region supply some $95 billion/year in ecosystem services and the region earns over $1 billion/year from tourism.

AChangingClimateEcoServices

Abstract:  The Eastern Sierra region is largely dependent on natural ecosystems and essential resources to sustain the recreation and tourism economy.  Climate change poses a threat by potentially increasing the frequency and intensity of natural hazards, which in turn may threaten or destroy critical ecosystem services needed for local communities and visitors.  Natural hazards associated with climate change may also adversely affect or degrade the unique landscape in the Eastern Sierra that provides for the recreation-based economy that local communities depend on.  To proactively manage for these potential risks posed by climate change, the report, Vulnerability in California’s Eastern Sierra, summarizes the results of the Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Initiative’s (SRTI’s) “Climate Adaptation and Resilience Assessment,” which includes an Adaptation & Resilience Assessment and a Natural Capital Assessment.  Based on these efforts, the report provides Recommended Actions for the Eastern Sierra’s adaptation to climate change.  The purpose of this report is to provide an understanding of the economic value supplied by the ecosystem services in the SRTI Study Area, analyze how climate change may threaten the people, assets, and economic benefits of ecosystem services in the region, and specifically focus on how the effects of climate change may directly or indirectly affect outdoor recreation, tourism, and economic stability (Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Initiative; A Changing Climate | Vulnerability in California’s Eastern Sierra, p. ES 2).  The full report is available here.

Biography:  More information on the ESSRP is available at www.essrp.org.

Scoping Study:  The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment has retained David Featherman, P.E. of Wildephor Consulting Services to review some of the assumptions used for the Kirkwood District Heating project with the object of improving the economics.

Future Meetings:  At the moment there is no presentation scheduled for the August meeting so it may be cancelled unless someone comes up with a possible presentation of interest.  In September Dr. Jeff Dozier of the University of California Santa Barbara’s Earth Research Institute will make a presentation on snow and what we can expect going forward with respect to snow.  Without snow in Alpine County there wouldn’t be the forests and watersheds that we rely on.   The September meeting will be in person at Turtle Rock Park assuming that covid-19 remains under control.  Suggestions for possible speakers are always welcome.

The July meeting it will be Tuesday July 6th at 6:00 pm via Zoom video conference.  The Zoom link will be active beginning about 5:45 pm to give people time to chat and resolve any technical problems.  The connection information is below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84244004600?pwd=Tzl0Q2c4ekdHMVRDOTF3YXZ6NGdMQT09

Meeting ID: 842 4400 4600,  Passcode: 095318

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