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Updated 11 October, 2003

US National Assessment of
the Potential Consequences
of Climate Variability and Change
Region: Rocky Mountain / Great Basin


For additional information, see the West  & Pacific NW Mega-Regions


Student Reading Book
See also the Rocky Mountain / Great Basin Region paper for Educators



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Links to Material from the Rocky Mountain / Great Basin Assessment Group:

Related Articles from the National Assessment's Newsletter, Acclimations.

The Workshop

The Rocky Mountain/Great Basin (RMGB) Regional Workshop was held February 16-18, 1998, as part of the series of US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) regional climate change workshops. This series of workshops is seen as a first step in a U.S. national assessment of the potential consequences of climate variability and change. In many ways, the RMGB region is one of the most complex for which the effects of climate change are being assessed. The RMGB region encompasses a portion of nine, large western states that experience great climatic variation across this extensive region.

Issues for Analysis

The follow-up assessment considers a limited number of key sectors and issues that are critical in the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin region. The issues addressed include: Water, Agriculture, Ranching, Skiing and Tourism, Urban/Industrial, and Natural Ecosystems. The Assessment focus is on addressing environmental and socio-economic impacts due to climate changes, recognizing that some of the current stresses in the region are complicating factors.

Strategy for the Assessment

The general strategy for the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin Regional Assessment was to work with specialist focus-groups on climatology, water resources, and affected sectors to develop best-probability scenarios. These were evaluated in the context of the socio-economic structure and trends, public-land administration, and energy needs. This strategy was carried out in council with an Assessment Team of sector professionals and a broader Steering Committee of sector representatives. The Assessment report is expected during 2002.

Principal Investigators Frederic H. Wagner, Utah State University
Thomas J. Stohlgren, U.S. Geological Survey
Coordinating Federal Agencies U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Agency Representative Thomas J. Stohlgren, U.S. Geological Survey
Key Sectors/Issues
  • Water
  • Agriculture
  • Ranching
  • Skiing and Tourism
  • Urban/Industrial
  • Natural Ecosystems

Assessment Team 

  • Jeff Burks, Utah Department of Natural Resources
  • Upmanu Lall, Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State Univ.
  • Linda Mearns, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Susan Selby, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Thomas J. Stohlgren (Co-Chair), Colorado State University
  • Frederic H. Wagner (Co-Chair), Utah State University
  • Booth Walentine, Utah Farm Bureau

Steering Committee 

  • Barbara Curti, Nevada Farm Bureau
  • Martha G. Hahn, US Bureau of Land Management
  • Sherman Janke, Sierra Club/Greater Yellowstone Coalition
  • Terry O'Connor, Arco Coal Co.
  • Hardy Redd, Rancher
  • Gray Reynolds, Snowbasin Ski Resort
  • Thomas J. Stohlgren (Co-Chair), Colorado State University
  • Dale Toweill, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Frederic H. Wagner (Co-Chair), Utah State University


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