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Region at risk:Visualizing environmental trendsin the American WestApril 2013Executive Summary
2Inform and advance conservation in the North American West byanalyzing, visualizing, and sharing data on environmental tr...
3This is a summary of six presentationsthat illustrate key environmental metrics.EcoWest decks describe trends in key metr...
Key points1. Human footprint: Despite the prevalence of public land, many of the West’siconic and least disturbed landscap...
Overview of trends in key issues4/26/2013 5Issue Status Good news Bad newsLand useWaterWildfiresBiodiversity• The West sti...
Overview of trends in key issues4/26/2013 6ClimatechangePublicopinionAirqualityFunding* Levels of carbon monoxide, sulfur ...
Table of contents7• Land Use Slides 8-20• Water Slides 21-34• Biodiversity Slides 35-49• Wildfires Slides 50-62• Energy Sl...
LAND USELand Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change8
Key points: land use• Although much of the West is publicly owned, the human footprintis evident almost everywhere in the ...
30%53%45%85%50%69%57%48%42%37%42%30%19%Federal lands common in Western states2%4%1%1%6%3%6%6%1%5%7%5%7%2% 4%3%10%2%1%2%3%1...
Much of the West is nominally protected4/26/2013 11Source: The Nature Conservancy 11But multiple-use doctrine applies to m...
Humanity’s imprint is already deep, indelibleSource: U.S. Geological Survey 12Agriculture has largest footprint, often in ...
Some of least disturbed areas still vulnerable13Many of these areas are not a wilderness or national parkSource: U.S. Geol...
The West has many of the nation’s growth hotspots4/26/2013Source: U.S. Census Bureau 14California, Southwest, and Washingt...
The West’s population is highly concentratedSource: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census 15Region known for unpopulated expanse...
16In 1940, the West was still pretty lonely territoryHousing density especially low in inland states
17By 2000, the region’s population had skyrocketedNot only along West Coast, but also inland
18It’s expected to be even more crowded by 2030But much of NV, UT, WY, MT are still unpopulated
Northern spotted owlESA listing0246810121416Billionsofboard-feet SoldHarvestedSome traditional extractive industries in de...
Much of the West still home to livestockSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 20Pasture/RangePercent of county0.0 - ...
ENERGY21Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points: energy• The West has become an important player in the nation’s fossil andrenewable energy supply• New technol...
051015202530354045Percent% of US total for natural gas% of US total for fossil fuelsFederal lands important for fossil fue...
Fossil fuel sales fairly steady on public/tribal lands05101520252003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011QuadrillionBtu...
Natural gas displacing coal as wind power increases01020304050601985 1995 2005 2015 2025 2035GigawattsOther/ RenewablesNat...
Natural gas least expensive, wind getting close0 50 100 150 200 250 300Gas: Advanced Combined CycleGas: Conventional Combi...
Shale gas found throughout the countrySource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 27Often in the same locations as conv...
Hydro, wood, and biofuels are top renewables01234567891949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009QuadrillionBtuRenewable Energy: To...
Wind, solar, and biomass projected to increase0204060801001201402010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035GigawattsSolid waste/landfill...
Wind power has been deployed throughout nation4/26/2013Source: American Wind Energy Association 30Location of major wind p...
Sage grouse range overlaps some wind power sitesSource: U.S. Geological Survey, WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 31ESA candid...
32Some Western states in top 10 for solar capacityUtility projects larger than residential or commercial installationsCali...
Desert tortoises live in some solar power hotspotsSource: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bureau of Land Management ...
Biofuels have biggest footprint, efficiency shrinks impact-200 0 200 400 600 800 1000Efficiency gains (liquids)Efficiency ...
WATER35Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points: water• A limited, unpredictable water supply is a defining feature of theWest, which faces a water crisis that...
Inherent challenge: aridity west of 100th Meridian100thMeridianAverage annualprecipitation:1951-2002 (inches)Source: Clima...
Western streams top the water quality rankings3818.2%29.0%45.1%20.5%29.0%25.8%51.8%40.0%27.4%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70...
Withdrawals are leveling even as population grows390501001502002503003500501001502002503003504004505001950 1955 1960 1965 ...
Withdrawals dominated by power and irrigation400501001502002503003504004505001950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 ...
Irrigation is the top water user in the West41Public Supply10.8%Domestic, Self-Supplied0.8%Industrial Self-Supplied0.1%Irr...
Calif., Southwest, and High Plains face water stressSource: The Nature Conservancy 42Growing demands and questionable supp...
Climate change, growth to heighten water conflicts43Potential water supplyconflicts by 2025Source: Bureau of Reclamation, ...
Crumbling water works will cost billions to fix44$0 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $600 $700 $800 $900 $1,000Roads and BridgesTr...
Consumer water bills continue to climb45Source: USA TodayMany utilities in West searching for new suppliesWater bills incr...
Strategies for saving water in agriculture46Potential savings compared to fallowing and land retirementSource: Pacific Ins...
Nearly 60% of water use occurs outside the home47OutdoorToiletsClothesWashersShowersFaucetsLeaks Unknown Other Baths Dishw...
Water markets are already functioning in West0.00.51.01.52.02.53.01987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1...
Desalination is very energy intensive—and costly490 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000Local surface waterRecyclingLocal groundw...
BIODIVERSITY50Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points: biodiversity• Ecosystem and species diversity is one of the hallmarks of the Westand is due to the region’s ex...
52The West’s terrestrial ecoregions:A mosaic of diversitySource: The Nature Conservancy
Dry parts of the West are among the most diverse53Source: The Nature ConservancyExtremes of topography and climate contrib...
Threatened: how the IUCN classifies U.S. speciesTotalSpeciesExtinct (EX)Extinct in the Wild (EW)Near Threatened (NT)Least ...
0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Animals Vascular plantsApparentlysecureSecureOtherVulnerableImperiledCriticallyimperiledE...
Notable endangered species in the West56Species Where found? Conflicts and public policy issuesGraywolfNorthern Rockies an...
Bush IIBush I ClintonReaganCarterNixon/FordNumber of endangered species continues to rise57ObamaSource: U.S. Fish and Wild...
Listings influenced by who’s in the White House58Average number ofspecies listedper yearSource: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser...
Waiting to board the ark: a backlog of candidates59Number of candidates for ESA protectionSource: U.S. Fish and Wildlife S...
Endangered species clustered in subset of counties60Source: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United St...
0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%All species Plants Mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians FishHabitat loss/degradation Alien s...
Agriculture top driver of habitat loss/degradation620% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%AgricultureDisruption of fire regimes...
WILDFIRES63Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points• Fire is essential to maintaining ecosystem health in many Westernforests, woodlands, and grasslands, but decad...
Much of the West is susceptible to wildfires65Source: USDA Forest Service/Fire Science Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Research...
Many Western forests filled with more fuel661909 1948 1989Source: US Forest ServiceIn drier forests, frequent, low-intensi...
Most areas have degraded natural fire regimes67Source: The Nature ConservancyCondition ofnatural firesystemsIn West, only ...
Acres burned varies by year, but overall trend is up68Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAcres burned by U.S. wildfir...
Average size of fires has also increased69Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAverage acreage of U.S. wildfires: 1990-...
Fires consume biggest share of Forest Service budget70$0$1$2$3$4$5$6$7$8$9$102002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 ...
Many busy fire seasons over the past decade71Source: National Interagency Fire CenterDays at Preparedness Levels 4 and 501...
Fuels reduction increasing on federal lands7201234562001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009Millionsof acresNon-WUI ot...
Fight fire with fire: prescribed burns73Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAcres burned in prescribed fires00.511.522...
More homes in wildland-urban interface74Source: U.S. Forest ServicePopulation growing in fire-prone lands
CLIMATE CHANGE75Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points• Temperature– The West is already warming faster than many parts of the country andeven higher temperatures are...
In West, warming will be greatest in interiorMean temperaturedeparture (˚F)Source: Climate Wizard 77Projected temperature ...
Southwest will get drier, Northwest will get wetterAverage precipitation change(millimeters)Source: Climate Wizard 78Proje...
Spring and summer will be drier in much of WestSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 79Projected precipitation chang...
Major precipitation changes by 2020s and 2030sSource: Tetra Tech , Natural Resources Defense Council 80The new normal: U.S...
Climate change effects on water cycleSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 81Less snowfall, more extreme storms, hig...
Snowmelt will occur earlier, especially in NorthwestSource: The Nature Conservancy 82Timing ofspringsnowmeltPoses challeng...
River runoff expected to decline in much of WestSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program,; Milly et al. 83Projected cha...
Temperature and precipitation limit plant distributionSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 84Basic ecological param...
Enormous variations in elevation and temperatureDeath Valley, -282 feetMount Whitney, 14,505 feetSource: Climate Wizard 85...
Annualaverageprecip.(inches)Wet and dry areas are often in close proximitySource: Climate Wizard 86Orographic effect and r...
Source: U.S. Forest Service 87MAP SS Current ClimateHadley S + CO2 (2070-2099)CCC + CO2 (2070-2099)Climate change will shi...
Decreasing habitat for coldwater fishSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 88Trout, salmon, steelhead severely stres...
Birds are already on the move89Source: Associated Press, Audubon Society, NOAASpecies moving toward poles, up in elevation...
Mountaintop species especially vulnerable90Pikas may eventually run out of mountainSource: Carnegie Institution Department...
Wildfires are arriving earlier and lasting longerSource: Westerling et al. (2006) 91Big blazes increased starting in 1980s...
Climate change expected to make wildfires worseSource: National Research Council 92Change in burned areaprojected from 1°C...
Mountain pine beetle attacking lodgepole forests93Lack of deep freeze may be responsible for outbreak
PUBLIC OPINIONLand Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change94
Key points: public opinion• The environment doesn’t rank high on the public’s agenda, but amajority of Americans remain co...
What’s the most important problem facing the U.S.?0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35WelfareWars/War (nonspecific)/Fear of warWage issue...
010203040506070802001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Getting betterGetting worseSameNo opinionElect...
Hostility toward environmental movement risingDo you think of yourself as an active participant in the environmentalmoveme...
More think environmentalists have done harm05101520253035404550Definitely more good than harm Probably more good than harm...
Environment vs. economy: the Gulf oil spill effectDo you think that protection of the environment should be givenpriority,...
Environment vs. economy in the WestAs part of efforts to improve their state economy and generate jobs as quickly aspossib...
Few Westerners want environmental laws relaxedWhat is your feeling about the current status of environmental laws?0 10 20 ...
Air and water pollution generate most concern0 10 20 30 40 50 60Acid rainUrban sprawl and loss of open spaceGlobal warming...
In West, non-pollution issues also rank highWhat is the seriousness of the following environmental problems?0% 10% 20% 30%...
CONSERVATION FUNDING105Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
Key points: conservation funding• Federal funding– In real terms, the budgets of major environmental agencies havebeen fai...
How your federal tax dollars are spentSocial Security21%Defense20%Medicare13%Low-incomeassistance9%Medicaid8%Net interestp...
Top federal programs related to the environment$0 $5 $10 $15Environmental Protection AgencyU.S. Army Corps of EngineersU.S...
Funding for federal agencies tends to be steady05101520252003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013Billions(20...
Land and Water Conservation Fund short-changed0200400600800100012001965 1968 1971 1974 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 ...
Conservation ballot measures usually succeedNumberofMeasuresPassedPercentSource: Trust for Public Land0501001502002500%10%...
Philanthropic funding varies greatly year-to-year-100 -50 0 50 100Millions of dollarsTransportationToxicsTerrestrial Ecosy...
Overall takeaways• The human footprint in the West is surprisingly large andagriculture has the biggest physical imprint i...
114ecowest.orgDownload more slides and other resourcesContact us by e-mailing mitch@ceaconsulting.com
Jon Christensen, Adjunct Assistant Professor and PritzkerFellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainabilityand ...
Jonathan Hoekstra, head of WWF’s Conservation ScienceProgram, lead author of The Atlas of GlobalConservation, and former S...
Mitch TobinEditor of EcoWest.orgCommunications Director at CEACaroline OttResearch Associate at CEAMatthew ElliottPrincipa...
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Region at risk: visualizing environmental trends in the American West

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In this EcoWest.org presentation, we summarize our research on trends in biodiversity, climate change, land use, politics, water, and wildfires in the American West.

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Region at risk: visualizing environmental trends in the American West

  1. 1. Region at risk:Visualizing environmental trendsin the American WestApril 2013Executive Summary
  2. 2. 2Inform and advance conservation in the North American West byanalyzing, visualizing, and sharing data on environmental trends.EcoWest mission
  3. 3. 3This is a summary of six presentationsthat illustrate key environmental metrics.EcoWest decks describe trends in key metricsIssue Sample metricsLand Acres protected by land trusts, energyproduction on federal landsWater Per capita water consumption, trends in watertransfersBiodiversity Number of endangered species and candidates,biological diversity of ecoregionsWildfires Size and number of wildfires, suppression costsClimate Temperature/precipitation projectionsPolitics Conservation funding, public opinionDownload presentations and other resourcesat ecowest.org
  4. 4. Key points1. Human footprint: Despite the prevalence of public land, many of the West’siconic and least disturbed landscapes are vulnerable to human activities, puttingbiodiversity and wilderness values at risk.2. Land use: Population growth is a key driver, but agriculture uses most of theWest’s water and has a bigger footprint than cities and suburbs3. Water: Growth and climate change are compounding the water crisis byincreasing demands and jeopardizing supplies, but water quality is generally betterout West than back East.4. Biodiversity: Habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change are the topthreats to the West’s rich array of species and ecosystems.5. Wildfires: Climate change and the legacy of fire suppression will continue tomake the wildfire season longer, costlier, and more destructive6. Public opinion: Americans—and Westerners in particular—often supportenvironmentalists’ goals, but hostility toward the movement may be growing.7. Funding: Budgets for federal environmental agencies are relatively steady andballot measures usually pass, but considerably fewer have been put to votersduring the economic downturn.4
  5. 5. Overview of trends in key issues4/26/2013 5Issue Status Good news Bad newsLand useWaterWildfiresBiodiversity• The West still has large tracts of wildernessand native habitat that are relativelyundisturbed• Some extractive industries, such as publiclands logging, pose less of a threat today• Land trusts are growing in number andprotecting more acres of open space• Growth is expanding the human footprintaround cities and spreading impacts topreviously unpopulated places• Even remote public lands are crisscrossed byroads and suffering from invasive species• Many public lands are vulnerable to harmfuldevelopment under multiple-use doctrine• Newer power plants are using less water• Utilities are employing progressive ratestructures to encourage conservation• The Clean Water Act has reduced pollution inmany waterways• Water quality in the West is generally betterthan in the East• Demand exceeds supply in overallocated riverbasins, creating conflicts over water• Overpumping is depleting many aquifers andharming nearby streams/rivers• Climate change expected to shrink snowpackand change the timing of peak flows• Nation’s water infrastructure is crumbling• Some overgrown forests are being treated withjudicious fuels reduction and prescribed burns• Land managers are letting some wildernessfires burn to restore the natural cycle• Many communities are adopting fire-wisebuilding practices and mitigating risks• Overexploitation (hunting and collecting) isless of a problem today• Key game species, such as deer, elk, andpronghorn, have made dramatic recoveries• Some endangered species have been pulledback from the brink of extinction• The backlog of candidates for EndangeredSpecies Act protection is decreasing• Climate change posing an existential threat tosome species and compounding traditionalproblems, such as habitat loss and invasives• Freshwater species doing especially poorly• The conservation status for many species isunknown and not monitored• In many areas, wildfires are growing larger,burning longer, becoming more intense, andcosting more to suppress• More homes are vulnerable in the wildland-fire interface and the fire threat may promptharmful mechanical treatments• Climate change is exacerbating the problem
  6. 6. Overview of trends in key issues4/26/2013 6ClimatechangePublicopinionAirqualityFunding* Levels of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide,and nitrogen dioxide have declined, despite agrowing economy, increasing energy use, andrising vehicle-miles traveled* Shift from coal to natural gas is decreasinglocal air pollution from power generation* Particulates and ozone more difficult to control* Poor air quality is a chronic problem in someplaces, and millions of Westerners are stillexposed to toxic air pollution* Dust-on-snow events are leading to acceleratedmelting of snowpack* Heightened awareness among public andpolicymakers of the impacts in West* Some Western states taking the lead inmitigation and adaptation* Much of West expected to get drier and besubject to more extreme weather/wildfires* Lack of political will to enact policies to reducegreenhouse gas emissions* Species already on the move, but habitat lossand fragmentation pose obstacles* Great majority of Americans are concernedabout the quality of the environment* Strong public support for open space, cleanair, clean water, and other conservation goals* Many Westerners reject false choice of “jobsvs. the environment”* Environment barely registers on nationalagenda of top problems* Recession has slightly weakened support forenvironmental protection* Signs of increasing hostility toward theenvironmental movement* Budgets of federal environmental agencieshave remained fairly steady over past decade* Conservation ballot measures usually pass atthe polls* Sequester and fiscal austerity exertingdownward pressure on public spending* Fewer conservation ballot measure have beenput to voters during recessionIssue Good news Bad newsEnergy* Wind, solar, and other renewables aremaking gains, with many Western statesadopting renewable portfolio standards* Some technologies, including vehicles, arebecoming more efficient* Fossil fuels continue to dominate the energysector and dwarf renewables* Many wilderness-quality lands are threatenedby energy development, including renewablesStatus
  7. 7. Table of contents7• Land Use Slides 8-20• Water Slides 21-34• Biodiversity Slides 35-49• Wildfires Slides 50-62• Energy Slides 63-74• Public Opinion Slides 75-93• Funding Slides 105-112• Climate Change Slides 94-104
  8. 8. LAND USELand Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change8
  9. 9. Key points: land use• Although much of the West is publicly owned, the human footprintis evident almost everywhere in the region.• Relatively pristine areas are often protected as wilderness ornational parks, but many of the least developed areas remainvulnerable due to the multiple-use doctrine.• The West accounts for a rising share of the nation’s population, withmost growth occurring in and around big cities in an increasinglyurbanized region.• Some traditional economic sectors, such as logging on public lands,are in decline, but the West is still home to important mines, farms,and energy development.9
  10. 10. 30%53%45%85%50%69%57%48%42%37%42%30%19%Federal lands common in Western states2%4%1%1%6%3%6%6%1%5%7%5%7%2% 4%3%10%2%1%2%3%10%12%8%3%1%1%7%5%VT = 8%NH = 13%MA = 2%RI = 0.4%CT = 0.4%NJ = 3%DE = 2%MD = 3%DC = 25%Source: U.S. General Services AdministrationPortion of each statethat is federal landBLM is biggest landowner, followed by Forest Service10
  11. 11. Much of the West is nominally protected4/26/2013 11Source: The Nature Conservancy 11But multiple-use doctrine applies to most BLM, Forest Service land
  12. 12. Humanity’s imprint is already deep, indelibleSource: U.S. Geological Survey 12Agriculture has largest footprint, often in unpopulated regions
  13. 13. Some of least disturbed areas still vulnerable13Many of these areas are not a wilderness or national parkSource: U.S. Geological Survey
  14. 14. The West has many of the nation’s growth hotspots4/26/2013Source: U.S. Census Bureau 14California, Southwest, and Washington among biggest gainers40+20 to 3910 to 190 to 9-1 to -9Less than -9Comparable data notavailableNumeric change in population by county: 2000-2010(thousands)
  15. 15. The West’s population is highly concentratedSource: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census 15Region known for unpopulated expanses is actually very urbanizedPopulation by county: 2010
  16. 16. 16In 1940, the West was still pretty lonely territoryHousing density especially low in inland states
  17. 17. 17By 2000, the region’s population had skyrocketedNot only along West Coast, but also inland
  18. 18. 18It’s expected to be even more crowded by 2030But much of NV, UT, WY, MT are still unpopulated
  19. 19. Northern spotted owlESA listing0246810121416Billionsofboard-feet SoldHarvestedSome traditional extractive industries in declineSource: U.S. Forest Service 19Timber produced by U.S. national forestsLogging in national forests a shadow of its former self
  20. 20. Much of the West still home to livestockSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 20Pasture/RangePercent of county0.0 - 11.711.8 - 27.527.6 - 47.047.1 - 70.470.5 +Cattle1 dot = 10,000 cattleCattle found in some very hot, dry areas
  21. 21. ENERGY21Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  22. 22. Key points: energy• The West has become an important player in the nation’s fossil andrenewable energy supply• New technologies are leading to the development of shale gasdeposits in the West, but the growth rate is expected to be evengreater in the East• Although the use of fossil fuels still dwarfs renewable supplies, theWest is home to important sites for solar and wind energy that areseeing increasing development• All forms of energy development, including renewables, causeenvironmental impacts, but efficiency measures, can reduce thephysical footprint of the energy sector22
  23. 23. 051015202530354045Percent% of US total for natural gas% of US total for fossil fuelsFederal lands important for fossil fuel productionSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 23Private, tribal, and state land also home to energy development
  24. 24. Fossil fuel sales fairly steady on public/tribal lands05101520252003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011QuadrillionBtuSales of fossil fuels produced on federal and Indian lands, 2003-2011Total Fossil FuelsCoalNatural GasCrude Oil and Lease CondensateNatural Gas Plant LiquidsSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 24Government regulations and market forces influence drilling activity
  25. 25. Natural gas displacing coal as wind power increases01020304050601985 1995 2005 2015 2025 2035GigawattsOther/ RenewablesNatural Gas/ OilNuclearHydropowerCoalAdditions to U.S. electricity generating capacitySource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 25Renewables now account for much of the new generating capacity
  26. 26. Natural gas least expensive, wind getting close0 50 100 150 200 250 300Gas: Advanced Combined CycleGas: Conventional Combined CycleHydroGas: Advanced CC with CCSWindConventional CoalGeothermalGas: Advanced Combustion TurbineAdvanced CoalAdvanced NuclearBiomassGas: Conventional Combustion…Advanced Coal with CCSSolar PVSolar Thermal2010 $/megawatt-hourLevelized capital costFixed O&MVariable O&M (incl. fuel)Transmission InvestmentSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 26Cost of new generation in 2017Large-scale solar plants are the most costly
  27. 27. Shale gas found throughout the countrySource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 27Often in the same locations as conventional gas plays
  28. 28. Hydro, wood, and biofuels are top renewables01234567891949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009QuadrillionBtuRenewable Energy: Total Consumption and Energy Sources, 1949-2010TotalHydroelectricWoodBiofuelsWindSolarSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 28Wind power production rising steeply in recent years
  29. 29. Wind, solar, and biomass projected to increase0204060801001201402010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035GigawattsSolid waste/landfill gasGeothermalBiomassSolarWindSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration 29Projected growth in non-hydro renewable energyBut at this rate, they’ll still be a small fraction of nation’s portfolio
  30. 30. Wind power has been deployed throughout nation4/26/2013Source: American Wind Energy Association 30Location of major wind power installationsExcept in the Southeast states, where the potential is poorWhere wind project density is high, projectlocation is not precise in order to show multipleprojects in a small geographic area. Projectlocation is based on county.
  31. 31. Sage grouse range overlaps some wind power sitesSource: U.S. Geological Survey, WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 31ESA candidate threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation
  32. 32. 32Some Western states in top 10 for solar capacityUtility projects larger than residential or commercial installationsCaliforniaArizonaNew JerseyNevadaNorth CarolinaMassachusettsHawaiiMarylandTexasNew YorkMW of PV installed during 2012Capacity installed (MWdc)Source: Solar Energy Industries Association
  33. 33. Desert tortoises live in some solar power hotspotsSource: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bureau of Land Management 33Good solar potential extends beyond the desert SouthwestCritical habitat fordesert tortoise(Mojave subspecies)
  34. 34. Biofuels have biggest footprint, efficiency shrinks impact-200 0 200 400 600 800 1000Efficiency gains (liquids)Efficiency gains (electricity)Nuclear powerGeothermalCoalSolar thermalNatural gasSolar photovoltaicPetroleumHydropowerWindEthanol from sugarcaneEthanol from cornEthanol from celluloseElectricity from biomassBiodiesel from soyLand-use intensity in 2030 (km2/TW-hr/yr)Source: McDonald et al. (2009) 34How much landdoes it taketo produce energy?Solar and wind farms can contribute to “energy sprawl”
  35. 35. WATER35Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  36. 36. Key points: water• A limited, unpredictable water supply is a defining feature of theWest, which faces a water crisis that is being compounded by growthand climate change.• Overall, we’re becoming more efficient in our water use, butmunicipal demand continues to rise along with the region’s growingpopulation.• Irrigation and energy continue to dominate the West’s wateruse, accounting for nearly 90 percent of withdrawals.• Although water quality has generally improved, our waterinfrastructure is crumbling and the repair bill is contributing toincreasing water costs.• Water conservation is less expensive than acquiring new supplieswhile desalination is both costly and energy intensive.36
  37. 37. Inherent challenge: aridity west of 100th Meridian100thMeridianAverage annualprecipitation:1951-2002 (inches)Source: Climate Wizard 37The Pacific Northwest and highest mountains are exceptions
  38. 38. Western streams top the water quality rankings3818.2%29.0%45.1%20.5%29.0%25.8%51.8%40.0%27.4%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%Eastern HighlandsPlains and LowlandsWestGood Fair Poor Not AssessedBiological condition of streamsSource: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyNearly half rated in good condition
  39. 39. Withdrawals are leveling even as population grows390501001502002503003500501001502002503003504004505001950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005U.S.population,millionsTotalwithdrawals,billionsofgallons/daySource: U.S. Geological SurveyMore efficient power plants require much less water
  40. 40. Withdrawals dominated by power and irrigation400501001502002503003504004505001950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005AquacultureCommercialMiningLivestockSelf-supplieddomesticSelf-suppliedindustrialPublic supplyIrrigationThermoelectricpowerU.S. water withdrawals (billions of gallons/day)Source: U.S. Geological SurveyYou need energy to deliver clean water, and water to run power plants
  41. 41. Irrigation is the top water user in the West41Public Supply10.8%Domestic, Self-Supplied0.8%Industrial Self-Supplied0.1%Irrigation76.2%Livestock0.2%Mining0.3%Thermoelectric11.8%Water withdrawals in the West, 2005Source: U.S. Geological SurveyThat’s been true for decades, but cities are consuming a rising share
  42. 42. Calif., Southwest, and High Plains face water stressSource: The Nature Conservancy 42Growing demands and questionable supplies
  43. 43. Climate change, growth to heighten water conflicts43Potential water supplyconflicts by 2025Source: Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Global Change Research ProgramClash between population trends and needs of endangered speciesIndian lands and NativeentitiesUnmet rural water needsConflict potential - moderateConflict potential - substantialConflict potential - highly likelyWater Supply Issue Areas
  44. 44. Crumbling water works will cost billions to fix44$0 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $600 $700 $800 $900 $1,000Roads and BridgesTransitDrinking Water and WastewaterSchoolsAviationPublic Parks and RecreationHazardous Waste and Solid WasteEnergyRailInland WaterwaysLeveesDamsBillionsEstimated investment need 2010 - 2015Estimated Actual SpendingAmerican Recovery andReinvestment Act5-Year Investment ShortfallSource: American Society of Civil EngineersOne reason why the price of water is rising
  45. 45. Consumer water bills continue to climb45Source: USA TodayMany utilities in West searching for new suppliesWater bills increasedfaster than natural gasor electricity costs forAmerican consumersbetween 2000-2012Average change in residential utility costs: 2000-20120% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% 140% 160% 180%Natural gasElectricityHeating oilWaterCurrent dollarsInflation adjusted
  46. 46. Strategies for saving water in agriculture46Potential savings compared to fallowing and land retirementSource: Pacific InstituteBiggest user has major conservation potential00.511.522.533.544.5Modest cropshiftingSmartirrigationschedulingAdvancedirrigationmanagementEfficientIrrigationtechnologyFallowing LandretirementWater savings(million acre-feet per year)
  47. 47. Nearly 60% of water use occurs outside the home47OutdoorToiletsClothesWashersShowersFaucetsLeaks Unknown Other Baths Dishwashers0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Gallons per capitaAverage householdwater useSource: American Water Works AssociationDrought-tolerant landscaping can dramatically reduce water use
  48. 48. Water markets are already functioning in West0.00.51.01.52.02.53.01987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Millionsofacre-feetVolume of water transfers in the WestSalesLong-Term LeasesShort-Term Leases48Source: Brewer et al. (2007)Agriculture is top source of water transfers
  49. 49. Desalination is very energy intensive—and costly490 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000Local surface waterRecyclingLocal groundwaterWater bagsColorado RiverImperial IrrigationDistrictSan Francisco Bay DeltaSeawater desalinationEnergy intensity, kWh/afEnergy intensity of water sourcesin San Diego CountySource: Pacific InstituteGreenhouse gas footprint looms large in California
  50. 50. BIODIVERSITY50Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  51. 51. Key points: biodiversity• Ecosystem and species diversity is one of the hallmarks of the Westand is due to the region’s extremes in elevation, wide variation inclimate, and unique assemblage of ecological communities• The number of imperiled species continues to rise, but the process ofgranting plants and animals Endangered Species Act protection ishighly politicized• Habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change are among thegreatest threats, but overhunting and illegal collecting are less of aproblem today51
  52. 52. 52The West’s terrestrial ecoregions:A mosaic of diversitySource: The Nature Conservancy
  53. 53. Dry parts of the West are among the most diverse53Source: The Nature ConservancyExtremes of topography and climate contribute to biological richnessNumber ofplant speciesby terrestrialecoregion
  54. 54. Threatened: how the IUCN classifies U.S. speciesTotalSpeciesExtinct (EX)Extinct in the Wild (EW)Near Threatened (NT)Least Concern (LC)Critically Endangered (CR)Endangered (EN)Vulnerable (VU)ThreatenedNot Evaluated (NE)Evaluated4,926Data Deficient (DD)AdequateData54>200,000258112972815793364722,692Source: IUCNJust a fraction of plants and animals have been assessed
  55. 55. 0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Animals Vascular plantsApparentlysecureSecureOtherVulnerableImperiledCriticallyimperiledExtinct** Possibly andpresumed extinctAbout 30% of U.S. species are vulnerable or worse55Source: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United StatesAnimals doing slightly better than plants
  56. 56. Notable endangered species in the West56Species Where found? Conflicts and public policy issuesGraywolfNorthern Rockies andSouthwestOpposition from ranchers and others animatesdebate over delisting of Northern Rockiespopulation; Southwest wolves doing poorly.Salmon Pacific Coast andPacific NorthwestMajor impacts on dam operations, but alsoaffected by land-use changes, such as logging ofheadwaters habitat.SpottedowlPacific Coast states(northern) andSouthwest (Mexican)Need old-growth forests and have contributed tosignificant declines in logging in the PacificNorthwest.DeserttortoiseMojave Desert ofSouthern Californiaand NevadaOnce threatened to derail growth in Las Vegas;now coming into conflict with solar energyproposals.DeltasmeltSacramento-SanJoaquin DeltaContinuing to influence management of the hubin California’s water works.CanadalynxRocky Mountains Impacts ski industry and other development inhigh-elevation areas.
  57. 57. Bush IIBush I ClintonReaganCarterNixon/FordNumber of endangered species continues to rise57ObamaSource: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service02004006008001000120014001600196719701972197319751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012Number of species protected by the ESAListings are supposed to be science-based and ignore economic impacts
  58. 58. Listings influenced by who’s in the White House58Average number ofspecies listedper yearSource: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service010203040506070Nixon/Ford Carter Reagan Bush I Clinton Bush II ObamaGeorge W. Bush administration kept a lid on listings
  59. 59. Waiting to board the ark: a backlog of candidates59Number of candidates for ESA protectionSource: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service0501001502002503003501994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Obama administration has shortened the queue
  60. 60. Endangered species clustered in subset of counties60Source: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United StatesSouthwest and California are hotspots in WestNumber of federallylisted species12-45-9≥10
  61. 61. 0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%All species Plants Mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians FishHabitat loss/degradation Alien species Pollution Overexploitation DiseaseHabitat loss and alien species jeopardizing species61Source: Wilcove et al. (1998)Major threats to imperiled or listed U.S. species1998 analysis didn’t address the impact of climate change
  62. 62. Agriculture top driver of habitat loss/degradation620% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%AgricultureDisruption of fire regimesInfrastructure, roadsLand conversion for developmentLivestock grazingLoggingMilitary activitiesMining, oil/gas, geothermalOutdoor recreation, off-roadingPollutantsWater developmentSource: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United StatesTop habitat threatsfor U.S. endangered speciesUnnatural fire regimes even greater threat than development
  63. 63. WILDFIRES63Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  64. 64. Key points• Fire is essential to maintaining ecosystem health in many Westernforests, woodlands, and grasslands, but decades of fire suppressionhave caused an unnatural build-up of fuels in some areas.• Fire activity varies year to year, largely due to the weather, butblazes are generally getting bigger, burning longer, doing moredamage, and costing more to suppress.• An increasing number of acres are being treated with mechanicalthinning and prescribed burns, but the backlog is tremendous andthere is some disagreement about where to focus the work.64
  65. 65. Much of the West is susceptible to wildfires65Source: USDA Forest Service/Fire Science Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Research StationFirepotentialBut natural fire regime varies dramatically in different habitats
  66. 66. Many Western forests filled with more fuel661909 1948 1989Source: US Forest ServiceIn drier forests, frequent, low-intensity fires are often natural
  67. 67. Most areas have degraded natural fire regimes67Source: The Nature ConservancyCondition ofnatural firesystemsIn West, only Pacific NW and Northern/Central Rockies are “intact”
  68. 68. Acres burned varies by year, but overall trend is up68Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAcres burned by U.S. wildfires: 1961-201202,000,0004,000,0006,000,0008,000,00010,000,00012,000,0001961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 201110-yearmovingaverageWeather plays key role in severity of fire season
  69. 69. Average size of fires has also increased69Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAverage acreage of U.S. wildfires: 1990-20125-yearmovingaverage0204060801001201401601990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011Prior to 1990, number of fires was reported differently
  70. 70. Fires consume biggest share of Forest Service budget70$0$1$2$3$4$5$6$7$8$9$102002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013Billions(2012dollars)Supplemental/Emergency/ReserveOther AppropriationsLand Acquisition: LWCFState and Private ForestryForest and Rangeland ResearchCapital Improvement and MaintenanceMandatory AppropriationsNational Forest SystemWildland Fire ManagementSource: U.S. Forest ServiceAgency often taps supplemental emergency fundsWildfiremanagement
  71. 71. Many busy fire seasons over the past decade71Source: National Interagency Fire CenterDays at Preparedness Levels 4 and 50102030405060708090100Level 5Level 4But some seasons are quiet due to benign weather
  72. 72. Fuels reduction increasing on federal lands7201234562001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009Millionsof acresNon-WUI otherNon-WUI mechanicalNon-WUI fireWUI otherWUI mechanicalWUI fireFuels treatment on federal lands andthe wildland-urban interface (WUI)Source: Departments of Agriculture and InteriorCompared to the overall need, it’s a drop in the bucket
  73. 73. Fight fire with fire: prescribed burns73Source: National Interagency Fire CenterAcres burned in prescribed fires00.511.522.533.51998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012MillionsBureau of Land ManagementNational Park ServiceBureau of Indian AffairsUS Fish and Wildlife ServiceState/OtherUS Forest ServiceMuch cheaper than mechanical thinning, but always a risk of escape
  74. 74. More homes in wildland-urban interface74Source: U.S. Forest ServicePopulation growing in fire-prone lands
  75. 75. CLIMATE CHANGE75Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  76. 76. Key points• Temperature– The West is already warming faster than many parts of the country andeven higher temperatures are expected in the decades to come• Precipitation– Models predict the Southwest will get drier and the Pacific Northwest willget wetter, but the projections elsewhere are more ambiguous• Water impacts– Changes to the vital winter snowpack and the timing of the springsnowmelt will pose challenges to aquatic species and water managers• Biodiversity impacts– Plants and animals are expected to move upslope and toward the NorthPole but many barriers stand in the way• Wildfire impacts– Warmer temperatures and a thinner snowpack will continue to make theWest’s wildfire season longer and more destructive76
  77. 77. In West, warming will be greatest in interiorMean temperaturedeparture (˚F)Source: Climate Wizard 77Projected temperature change by 2080s: High emissions (A2) scenarioModels point to much hotter weather across country
  78. 78. Southwest will get drier, Northwest will get wetterAverage precipitation change(millimeters)Source: Climate Wizard 78Projected precipitation change by 2080s: High emissions (A2) scenarioPrecipitation projections more ambiguous than temperature predictions
  79. 79. Spring and summer will be drier in much of WestSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 79Projected precipitation changes: 2080-2099Seasonal precipitation patterns critical for wildlife, water managersWinter SpringFallSummer
  80. 80. Major precipitation changes by 2020s and 2030sSource: Tetra Tech , Natural Resources Defense Council 80The new normal: U.S. climate may be far different in just a decade or two< -1.0-1.0-00-1.01.0-2.02.0-4.0>4.0Changes in Precipitation 2020-2039 from 1961-1990inches
  81. 81. Climate change effects on water cycleSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 81Less snowfall, more extreme storms, higher evaporationHotter/Drier Conditions (Interior West) Hotter/Wetter Conditions (NE and Coasts)
  82. 82. Snowmelt will occur earlier, especially in NorthwestSource: The Nature Conservancy 82Timing ofspringsnowmeltPoses challenges to aquatic species, dam managers, and water agencies
  83. 83. River runoff expected to decline in much of WestSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program,; Milly et al. 83Projected changes in median runoff: 2041-2060 vs. 1901-1970Colorado River, California, and Great Basin hit hard-40 -20 -10 -5 -2 2 5 10 20 40Percent
  84. 84. Temperature and precipitation limit plant distributionSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 84Basic ecological parameters are increasingly in fluxDistribution of plant communitiesTropical Subtropical Warm Temperate Cold Temperate Arctic-AlpineMean AnnualTemperature (C)Precipitation(cm)
  85. 85. Enormous variations in elevation and temperatureDeath Valley, -282 feetMount Whitney, 14,505 feetSource: Climate Wizard 85U.S. averagetemperatures:1951-2006Lowest and tallest points in contiguous U.S. are just 85 miles apart
  86. 86. Annualaverageprecip.(inches)Wet and dry areas are often in close proximitySource: Climate Wizard 86Orographic effect and rain shadows contribute to diversity
  87. 87. Source: U.S. Forest Service 87MAP SS Current ClimateHadley S + CO2 (2070-2099)CCC + CO2 (2070-2099)Climate change will shift mosaic of ecosystemsRising CO2 levels will also affect plant growth
  88. 88. Decreasing habitat for coldwater fishSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 88Trout, salmon, steelhead severely stressed when air above 70°F1980-1997 2020s 2040sAverage air temperature (F°)39 50 59 68 79
  89. 89. Birds are already on the move89Source: Associated Press, Audubon Society, NOAASpecies moving toward poles, up in elevation, in response to warming
  90. 90. Mountaintop species especially vulnerable90Pikas may eventually run out of mountainSource: Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology
  91. 91. Wildfires are arriving earlier and lasting longerSource: Westerling et al. (2006) 91Big blazes increased starting in 1980s, mostly due to warmingWestern U.S. ForestWildfires and Spring-Summer TemperatureTiming of springSnowmeltFire Season Length
  92. 92. Climate change expected to make wildfires worseSource: National Research Council 92Change in burned areaprojected from 1°C warmingA - Cascade Mixes ForestB - Northern Rocky Mt ForestC - Middle Rocky Mt. Steppe-ForestD - Intermountain Semi-DesertE - Great Plains-Palouse Dry SteppeF - Sierran Steppe-Mixed ForestG - California Dry SteppeH - Intermountain Semi-Desert/ DesertJ - South Rocky Mt. Steppe-ForestK - American Semi-Desert and DesertL - Colorado Plateau Semi-DesertM - Ariz-New Mex. Mts. Semi-DesertN - Chihuahuan Semi-Desert
  93. 93. Mountain pine beetle attacking lodgepole forests93Lack of deep freeze may be responsible for outbreak
  94. 94. PUBLIC OPINIONLand Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change94
  95. 95. Key points: public opinion• The environment doesn’t rank high on the public’s agenda, but amajority of Americans remain concerned about a wide variety ofenvironmental problems• The public agrees with many of the environmental movement’spolicy goals, but only about a fifth of Americans identify themselvesas active participants• The Great Recession has shifted public opinion away fromenvironmental concerns over the past few years and there is someincreasing hostility toward environmentalists• Air and water pollution tend to be the most worrisomeenvironmental issues and disasters, such as the BP oil spill, cancause spikes of interest in environmental issues95
  96. 96. What’s the most important problem facing the U.S.?0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35WelfareWars/War (nonspecific)/Fear of warWage issuesUnifying the countryThe mediaTaxesPoverty/ Hunger/HomelessnessLack of respect for each otherLack of military defenseJudicial system/Courts/LawsInternational issues, problemsGap between rich and poorFuel/Oil pricesForeign aid/Focus overseasEnvironment/PollutionEnergy/Lack of energy sourcesCorporate corruptionCare for the elderly/MedicareImmigration/Illegal aliensEthics/moral/religious/family decline; DishonestyEducation/Poor education/Access to educationLack of moneyPoor healthcare/hospitals; High cost of healthcareFederal budget deficit/Federal debtDissatisfaction with governmentUnemployment/JobsEconomy in general1% eachPercentSource: GallupJune 2012survey96
  97. 97. 010203040506070802001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Getting betterGetting worseSameNo opinionElections can cause shifts in environmental opinionRight now, do you think the quality of the environment in the country as awhole is getting better or worse?ObamaelectedSource: Gallup 97Percent
  98. 98. Hostility toward environmental movement risingDo you think of yourself as an active participant in the environmentalmovement; sympathetic towards the movement, but not active; neutral;or unsympathetic?01020304050602000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012Sympathetic, butnot activeNeutralActive participantUnsympatheticNo opinionSource: Gallup 98Percent
  99. 99. More think environmentalists have done harm05101520253035404550Definitely more good than harm Probably more good than harmProbably more harm than good Definitely more harm than goodNo opinionAll things considered, do you think the environmental movement in thisnation has done more good than harm, or more harm than good?PercentSource: Gallup 99
  100. 100. Environment vs. economy: the Gulf oil spill effectDo you think that protection of the environment should be givenpriority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth, or do you thinkeconomic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffersto some extent?010203040506070801984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011Protection of the environment should be given priorityEconomic growth should be given priorityGulf oilspillSource: Gallup 100Percent
  101. 101. Environment vs. economy in the WestAs part of efforts to improve their state economy and generate jobs as quickly aspossible, some people have proposed reducing protections on land, air and waterthat apply to major industries, including construction and agriculture. Would youprefer your state to reduce these protections or maintain them?0102030405060708090100Colorado Utah Wyoming Montana New MexicoMaintainReducePercentSource: State of the Rockies Project 101
  102. 102. Few Westerners want environmental laws relaxedWhat is your feeling about the current status of environmental laws?0 10 20 30 40 50 60Laws too strict, need to be relaxedLaws strong enoughLaws, enforcement should be left as they areLaws strong enough, but should be better enforcedPercentSource: State of the Rockies Project 102
  103. 103. Air and water pollution generate most concern0 10 20 30 40 50 60Acid rainUrban sprawl and loss of open spaceGlobal warmingExtinction of plant and animal speciesDamage to the ozone layerLoss of tropical rainforestsAir pollutionLoss of natural habitat for wildlifeMaintenance of freshwater supply for household needsPollution of lakes, rivers, and reservoirsContamination of soil and water by toxic wastePollution of drinking waterPercentSource: GallupWhat environmental issues are most worrisome?103
  104. 104. In West, non-pollution issues also rank highWhat is the seriousness of the following environmental problems?0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%Lack of access to lands and rivers for hunting and fishingCliamte changeGlobal warmingLack of access to public landsThe impact of oil and gas and drillingThe impact of miningLoss of natural areasToxins and pesticides in food and drinking waterInadequate water suppliesLoss of habitat for fish and wildlifeFunding cuts for state parks, natural area protection, andwater qualityAir pollution and smogPollution of rivers, lakes and streamsLoss of family farms and ranchesPoorly-planned growth and developmentExtremely SeriousSeriousSource: State of the Rockies Project 104
  105. 105. CONSERVATION FUNDING105Land Use Water Biodiversity WildfiresEnergy Public Opinion FundingClimate Change
  106. 106. Key points: conservation funding• Federal funding– In real terms, the budgets of major environmental agencies havebeen fairly steady over the past decade– The distribution among different programs also tends to remainrelatively constant• Ballot measures– Open-space bonds and other conservation measures usually passat the polls but considerably fewer have been put to votersduring the economic downturn• Philanthropic– The distribution of funding by issue area changes significantlyfrom year to year– Energy and climate-related funding saw big increases between2007 and 2009106
  107. 107. How your federal tax dollars are spentSocial Security21%Defense20%Medicare13%Low-incomeassistance9%Medicaid8%Net interestpayments7%Unemploymentcompensation5%Veterans Affairs3% Education3%Lawenforcement/homelandsecurity2%Transportation2%Health (notMedicare/Medicaid)2%Management of federalemployees and buildings1%Environmental protectionand natural resources1%All others3%Source: Third WayEntitlements, defense, and debt overshadow other program107
  108. 108. Top federal programs related to the environment$0 $5 $10 $15Environmental Protection AgencyU.S. Army Corps of EngineersU.S. Forest ServiceClean energyEnergy research, statisics and analysisNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNational Park ServiceU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceBureau of Land ManagementDepartment of InteriorDams, powerplants and reservoirsU.S. Geological SurveyCoal mine oversight and cleanupU.S. Terroritories oversightMine Safety and Health AdministrationEfficient vehicle developmentNatural Resources Conservation ServiceBureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and EnforcementLead hazard control and healthy homesEnergy efficient housingOcean oil drilling regulation and natural resource leasesElectric reliability organizationsBillionsSource: Third WayEPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and Forest Service get most funding108
  109. 109. Funding for federal agencies tends to be steady05101520252003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013Billions(2012dollars)OtherOffices of the Solicitor and InspectorGeneralMinerals Management Service/OceanEnergy ManagementInsular AffairsOffice of Special Trustee for AmericanIndiansOffice of Surface MiningGeological SurveyBureau of ReclamationBureau of Land ManagementDepartment Wide ProgramsFish and Wildlife ServiceDepartmental ManagementBureau of Indian AffairsNational Park ServiceSource: Department of InteriorDepartment of Interior budget: 2003-2013Stimulus funds created temporary bump in 2009109
  110. 110. Land and Water Conservation Fund short-changed0200400600800100012001965 1968 1971 1974 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010Millions(Dollars)ReceiptsreceivedFundappropriationsSource: Department of InteriorOuter Continental Shelf receiptsand LWCF appropriationsRoyalties from off-shore drilling diverted to non-conservation programs110
  111. 111. Conservation ballot measures usually succeedNumberofMeasuresPassedPercentSource: Trust for Public Land0501001502002500%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012Number of measuresPassage rateBut fewer have been put to voters during economic downturn111
  112. 112. Philanthropic funding varies greatly year-to-year-100 -50 0 50 100Millions of dollarsTransportationToxicsTerrestrial Ecosystems & Land-useSustainable CommunitiesSustainable Agriculture & Food SystemsPopulationMaterial Consumption & Waste ManagementInternational Trade & FinanceIndigenous Populations/CommunitiesGeneral/Multiple/UndefinedFresh Water/Inland Water EcosystemsEnvironmental JusticeEnvironmental HealthEnergyCoastal & Marine EcosystemClimate/AtmosphereBiodiversity & Species PreservationSource: Environmental Grantmakers AssociationChange in funding: 2007 -2009Climate and energy programs recently saw big increases112
  113. 113. Overall takeaways• The human footprint in the West is surprisingly large andagriculture has the biggest physical imprint in the region• Growth and climate change are compounding the water crisis in aregion with an inherently capricious supply• Even without climate change, many species would be introuble, largely due to habitat loss and invasive species• Wildfires are generally growing larger and will only get worse as theregion warms and the snowpack thins• Most Westerners want a vibrant economy and a healthyenvironment, but hostility toward environmentalists may be rising• There’s reason for hope: we’re generally getting cleaner and moreefficient in our use of natural resources113
  114. 114. 114ecowest.orgDownload more slides and other resourcesContact us by e-mailing mitch@ceaconsulting.com
  115. 115. Jon Christensen, Adjunct Assistant Professor and PritzkerFellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainabilityand Department of History at UCLA; former director of BillLane Center for the American West at Stanford.Robert Glennon, Regents’ Professor and Morris K. UdallProfessor of Law and Public Policy, Rogers College of Law atthe University of Arizona; author of Water Follies andUnquenchable.Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director for the SierraClub, where he has worked for more than 35 years; memberof the World Commission on Protected Areas; former FieldEditor for High Country News.EcoWest advisors115
  116. 116. Jonathan Hoekstra, head of WWF’s Conservation ScienceProgram, lead author of The Atlas of GlobalConservation, and former Senior Scientist at The NatureConservancy.Timothy Male, Vice President of Conservation Policy forDefenders of Wildlife, where he directs the Habitat andHighways, Conservation Planning, Federal Lands, OregonBiodiversity Partnership, and Economics programs.Thomas Swetnam, Regents Professor ofDendrochronology, Director of the Laboratory of Tree-RingResearch at the University of Arizona, and a leading expert onwildfires and Western forests.EcoWest advisors116
  117. 117. Mitch TobinEditor of EcoWest.orgCommunications Director at CEACaroline OttResearch Associate at CEAMatthew ElliottPrincipal at CEAContributors at California Environmental Associates117Max LevineAssociate at CEASarah WeldonAffiliated consultant at CEAMicah DayAssociate at CEAContact us by e-mailingmitch@ceaconsulting.comEcoWest is supported by theDavid and Lucile Packard Foundation

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