GNLCC Funded Project Makes the Paper: Tribes plan for potential impact of climate change

MISSION VALLEY — The secret is out: climate change is real, and it’s coming to the Flathead Indian Reservation. And the tribes are taking action. 

According to a press release, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have begun the process of hiring an individual or organization tasked with, “assisting the tribes with preparation, editing, writing and design of a climate change strategic plan.” 

The project’s purpose is to identify climate change’s potential local impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, develop climate change adaptation strategies and an implementation plan. 

According to CSKT Division of Environmental Protection Manager Mike Durglo Jr., the plan is intended to “help us plan for the future and the impacts that climate change will have on pretty much the entire reservation, people and resources. So, basically, the (CSKT Council) passed a resolution I brought in saying they acknowledge the climate is changing and we are going to prepare this plan to help us in the future.”

The Tribal Council passed the resolution Nov. 29 with unanimous support, but Durglo said he’d been working on it for more than four months before the vote. Originally, Durglo asked every CSKT department to designate someone to help him on the project. He said that didn’t work, so he went to the Tribal Council, asking they mandate all departments be involved because, “ultimately, (climate change) impacts every department.”

The resolution states that the Natural Resources Department had received funding from the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent and the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative for the project. 

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Issue Date: 3/6/2013 | Last Updated: 3/6/2013 12:05:37 PM | By Daniel Martynowicz