Climate Change and the Eastern Sierra

Technically, it’s still spring here in the Eastern Sierra. But as we watch the snow disappear from the high peaks, the passes open early, and the daily temperatures hover near record-breaking highs, we’re left wondering about the effect climate change will have on our region and on those plants, animals, and people who depend on its resources.

Holly Alpert will be speaking at our June 5 Brown Bag Lunch about her work in managing water resources during a time of increased climate instability and unreliability.

Holly Alpert will be speaking at our June 5 Brown Bag Lunch about her work in managing water resources during a time of increased climate instability and unreliability.

Holly Alpert, Program Manager for the Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program, will be joining ESLT on June 5 to talk about just that. As our speaker for the June installment of our monthly Brown Bag Lunch series, Holly will be discussing climate change in the Eastern Sierra, its effect to date and what we can expect to see moving forward. We are particularly interested in ways that new information about the changing climate might tie in with our land conservation work, and its potential impact on the types of properties that we strive to preserve.

In our arid region, access to water is an issue that can be directly correlated to many  important conservation values. Working with the IRWMP, Holly concentrates on the problem of dwindling water availability and managing our limited resources. There are few who keep a closer eye on this than the agricultural producers of the region whose livelihoods depend on this crucial resource.

Last week, NPR’s Science Friday delved into the issue of farming in an era that is increasingly hot and dry. Their panel of experts discussed the specific problems climate change has brought to agriculture, and potential long-term solutions to prevent the loss of productive farmland. From innovative water conservation measures, to experimenting with new crops requiring less water, this segment touches on a number of potential ideas worth exploring. You can listen to the full program, entitled, “Reinventing Farming for a Changing Climate,” here. Alternately, you can read a transcript by clicking here.

Please join us for this casual discussion in the ESLT garden at 176 Home St. on June 5 between 12 and 1pm, and bring your own questions (and lunch!) too.

We hope to see you there!

Alfalfa Farm

Next week, look to our Eastern Sierra Landlines blog for a follow-up on our climate change discussion and its link with agriculture! We will focus on alfalfa farming and its positive effects on the environment, the soil, and wildlife who call the Eastern Sierra home.

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