Connecting Wildlands and Communities

Integrating ecological research into planning efforts is key to IEMM’s goal of delivering actionable science. Funded by the California Strategic Growth Council, IEMM and the Climate Science Alliance are leading an interdisciplinary team of planners, environmental engineers, ecologists, and geographers to explore how connected landscapes can support adaptation and resilience to climate change for both ecosystems and local communities in Southern California.

This new project takes a comprehensive planning approach to meet state objectives on protecting rural communities, mitigating wildfire risk, supporting water sustainability, and protecting biodiversity.

Project Objectives

Six main objectives drive CWC’s work:

I. Engagement

Engage with partners and stakeholders across the region to support climate resilient ecosystem and community planning and implementation.

II. Wildfire Assessment

Assess the implications of connected landscapes on wildfire risks and patterns and recovery after wildfire impacts to ecosystems and communities.

III. Watershed Assessment

Evaluate the impact of connected landscapes on hydrologic regimes as it relates to water quality, quantity, and sustainability for ecosystems and communities.

IV. Biodiversity Assessment

Consider how connected landscapes will serve to protect plant and wildlife populations, habitats, and climate refugia over the long term.

V. Planning Integration

Deliver a suite of robust products and applications that reflect research outcomes and deploy a comprehensive outreach program that provides accessible, relevant, and data-driven products and decision-support tools to a diverse end-user community.

VI. Outreach and Delivery

Establish an integrated planning framework that incorporates ecological connectivity, wildfire risk, and water sustainability into land management approaches, conservation planning, and land use strategies.

CWC Data Portal

The CWC data portal is home to the project’s data visualization and planning tools, such as interactive maps, adaptation menus, and case studies.

It was created by our interdisciplinary team to provide an integrated planning and decision-making framework. This tool is for multi-benefit, landscape-scale planning and it facilitates science-informed climate adaptation and conservation strategies across the region.

Explore the data portal to learn more about climate, water sustainability, wildfire risk, and biodiversity and conservation.

Learn more

IEMM collaborates with Climate Science Alliance on this project.

Connecting Wildlands and Communities is part of IEMM’s Developing a Framework for Valuing Carbon Sequestration in San Diego’s Natural Lands series of projects.

Connecting Wildlands and Communities is a California Strategic Growth Council-funded project.