AK CSC Announces Additional Support for Tribal Projects
The Alaska Climate Science Center (AK CSC), working in partnership with the Northwest Climate Science Center and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, will fund an innovative tribal project aimed at understanding climate change impacts on subsistence foods, and how seven tribes in the Chugach region of Alaska can adapt to these changes. Led by the Chugachmiut Tribal Council, this research will compliment three jointly funded projects that were previously selected by the two CSCs and North Pacific LCC (see http://www.doi.gov/csc/alaska/news/ak-csc-joins-partners-to-support-tribal-projects.cfm).
Project Title: Berry Risk Mapping and Modeling of Native and Exotic Defoliators in Alaska
Project Lead: Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium - Nathan Lojewski
Summary: Chugachmiut is a tribal consortium representing the seven tribes of the Chugach region of Alaska (Chenega Bay, Eyak, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Qutekcak, Tatitlek, and Valdez). The Native people of this region rely heavily on gathered food for sustenance and nourishment. In the traditional Native diet berries were the only sweet food, and hence are culturally as well as nutritionally important. A recent outbreak of geometrid moths has decimated subsistence berry harvests in south-central Alaska. According to tribal elders and scientific records, this is the first time such an outbreak has been seen in the area. Changing climatic conditions may be linked to factors allowing the moth populations to grow to levels capable of destroying the berry resource. This project will develop a risk model to predict where subsistence berry plants will be most resistant to geometrid attack. Study results will be used to target forest management operations and other adaptation measures in areas most likely to be resistant to moth outbreaks, and to promote sustainable berry production.
Cooperators include the USDA Forest Service and Colorado State University