Climate Vulnerability Assessment

The Karuk Tribe is actively involved in climate planning. We are currently conducting a climate vulnerability assessment that focuses on the increased risk of high severity wildfire. The Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan suggests that management practices must account for future climate, environmental, and socio-cultural change. Our current vulnerability assessment builds on this planning document.

Download Entire Karuk Climate Assessment Here

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High severity fire above Rock Lake. Photo: Will Harling, Klamath-Salmon Media Collaborative

Chapter three contains species profiles from specific  ecosystems vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Link to all profiles here:

Table of Contents


  • Climate Change and Tribal Climate Justice
  • Climate Change Compels Action
  • Need for Tribal Knowledge and Leadership
  • Approach
  • Overview

Chapter One: Tribal Climate Change Impacts Overview

  • Changing Patterns of Temperature and Precipitation
  • Species Invasions and Sudden Oak Death
  • Ecological Significance of mid-Klamath Region Climate
    • Health
    • Food Security
    • Economic
    • Political

Chapter Two: Fire Exclusion and Changing Patterns of Fire Behavior

  • Karuk Use of Fire as Cultural and Ecological Practice
  • Changing Patterns of Fire Behavior: Local and Global Management Actions
  • Fire and Climate Change
  • Future Fire Forecasts

Chapter Three: Vulnerabilities of Traditional Foods and Cultural Use Species

  • Humans as Ecosystem Components
  • Riverine Vulnerabilities
  • Riparian Vulnerabilities
  • Low Elevation Forest: Tanoak Zone Vulnerabilities
  • Grassland Vulnerabilities
  • Middle Elevation Forest: Chinquapin Band Vulnerabilities
  • High Elevation Forest Vulnerabilities
  • Wet Meadow Vulnerabilities
  • High Country Vulnerabilities

Chapter Four: High Severity Fire and Vulnerabilities to Program Capacity

  • Multiple Jurisdictions and Limited Recognition of Tribal Authorities
  • Constraints of Project Based Funding
  • Impacts to Program Capacities During High Severity Fire Events
    • “Everything seems to stop when we have a fire.”
    • Infrastructure Impacts During Wildfire Events
    • Emergency Management Mode
  • Program Capacity in the Immediate Aftermath of Fires
  • Long Term Effects of High Severity Fire on Program Capacity
  • Program Specific Impacts
    • Transportation
    • Food Security
    • Water Quality
    • Fisheries
    • Watershed Restoration
    • Integrated Wildland Fire Management
    • Health

Chapter Five: High Severity Fire and Vulnerabilities to Tribal Management Authority

  • Management Authority and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Tribal Capacity, Funding Structure and Management Authority
  • New and Rapidly Shifting Jurisdictional Terrain
  • Crisis Management and Emergency Exemptions
  • Focus and Interest of non-Native Researchers in Klamath Basin
  • Vulnerabilities to Karuk Management Authority w/ Increasing Fire Severity
  • Karuk Management Authority During High Severity Fire Events
  • Karuk Management Authority in the Immediate Aftermath of Fires
  • Long Term Effects of Fire on Karuk Management Authority
  • Conclusion


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