To tackle how to best cope with the increasing droughts of the future, the USGS, The Nature Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are launching the Ecological Drought Working Group as part of the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). Composed of drought, climate change, economic and conservation experts from these and other institutions, this working group will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ecological impacts of drought on ecosystems and wildlife as well as the effects on people and their livelihoods. The group will propose methods to lessen such impacts, both ecologically and economically.
Droughts not only cause great economic hardships, but they are also often ecologically devastating. Droughts, which have ravaged much of the United States in recent years, are estimated to have resulted in more than $100 billion in damages between 1980 and 2000.
Products from the SNAPP Ecological Drought Working Group will be tailored to add value to state and local drought planning, including in the Upper Missouri headwaters of Montana. In 2015, five counties in this region were declared disaster areas due to their extreme drought conditions. The Obama Administration’s National Drought Resilience Partnership selected this region as a place to demonstrate how federal and state agencies can leverage knowledge, capacity and resources to better prepare Montana communities for future drought impacts. Additional case studies will be examined by the working group to encompass a range of drought impacts across the United States.
For More Information about the SNAPP Ecological Drought Working Group