Transboundary partnership takes action on climate change in the Crown of the Continent

Where the Rocky Mountains span the state of Montana and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, lies the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. This transboundary area contains extensive habitat and linkage-zones for grizzly bear, wolverine, Canada lynx, bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and whitebark pine.

To effectively tackle the effects of a changing climate on these wide-ranging species that cross a myriad of jurisdictions and boundaries, stakeholders from state, federal, and provincial agencies; tribes and First Nations; non-governmental conservation organizations; industry; universities, and community groups formed the Crown Adaptation Partnership (CAP).

Lead by a coordinating team comprised of staff from the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnership, Crown Conservation Initiative, and The Wilderness Society, CAP identified priority issues, information needs, and collaboration opportunities that set the stage to develop adaptation strategies and actions that build resilience to climate change impacts.  

A recent paper published in the journal Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene by the coordinating team, describes CAP’s model for coordinated management actions to achieve borderless outcomes for native salmonids, terrestrial invasive plants, five needle pines, mid-size carnivores, connectivity, and fire management.

In the paper the authors state, “We believe our emerging effort provides a new model for collaborative, climate-informed conservation at a large landscape scale, and describe here the origin of the partnership, our model of success, and lessons learned to date in hopes of inspiring similar progress toward landscape-scale climate adaptation action elsewhere.”

In September, members of the team presented a webinar about CAP. The recording and publication can be accessed here.

The CAP coordinating team was initially developed and funded by the Crown Roundtable’s Adaptive Management Initiative nearly five years ago, with subsequent funding and support from the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative.


Crown Adaptation Partnership's conservation targets and map of the Crown