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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Research Project #436136

Research Project: Economic Assessment of Exceptional Drought

Location: Range Management Research

Project Number: 3050-11210-009-06-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: May 20, 2019
End Date: May 31, 2021

Objective:
1. Production of economic assessments of the impacts of exceptional drought on agriculture. The assessments will be foundational material for an article or series of articles for peer-reviewed publication about climate risk and resilient agriculture in the semi-arid southwestern U.S. 2. Facilitate coordination and collaboration between resource managers to improve climate resilience and response (NRCS and FS; BLM and FSA). 3. Apply the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science framework to Southwestern forestry issues. 4. Improve access to materials, equipment and resources to measure and understand weather and climate data.

Approach:
1. Assessment of drought-related economic impacts to be conducted using an approach based on the widely accepted IMPLAN model for economic analysis and should allow for a more comprehensive approach to drought economic impacts, particularly to the agricultural sector. Publication of project reports and papers. 2. Connecting Drought Adaptation Paradigms: SWCH NRCS and FS co-leads have developed tools and frameworks for climate adaptation. Here we propose to link ecological site, state and transition and seed transfer tools in a sagebrush ecosystem to foster climate adaptation. The outcomes of this collaboration include a workshop or webinar and peer-reviewed publication. 3. Forestry Municipal Adaptation Project: In partnership with the USDA Southwest Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), Colorado State University (CSU) will collaborate on an effort to incorporate climate change considerations in managing forests to enhance carbon sequestration with a southwestern municipality. 4. Improve Federal Land Manager Communication: Rangeland conditions and management would be improved by better communication and understanding between FSA and BLM. We propose to hold a conditions and monitoring workshop with FSA and BLM partners with anticipated outcomes being agreement on specific monitoring and communications protocols for assessing rangeland conditions and a workshop report. 5. Promote climate module expansion: The SWCH supported development of Climate Change and Agriculture and Climate Change and the Water Cycle. Together these modules provide 16 hours of climate change educational activities, reviewed by scientists and teachers, aligned with current standards. A barrier to adoption of these modules is the lack of resources to purchase materials. We request funds to provide teachers with kits containing all the materials necessary to implement these courses in their classrooms. 6. Expand CoCoRaHS Monitoring Network: The SWCH will continue collaboration with the CoCoRaHS network to expand private, individual weather observations that feed into broader weather networks and the drought monitor.