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Connecting Wildlands
& Communities

About the Project

The Connecting Wildlands & Communities (CWC) project, funded by the California State Strategic Growth Council through the California Climate Investments initiative, is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management (IEMM) at San Diego State University and the Climate Science Alliance.


The CWC project brings together 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 project takes a comprehensive planning approach to meet State objectives on protecting rural communities, mitigating wildfire risk, supporting water sustainability, and protecting biodiversity. The goal of this research is to provide an integrated planning and decision-making framework that supports multi-benefit landscape-scale planning and facilitates science-informed climate adaptation and strategies across the region.


Project One-Pager

CWC Project Overview


Project Infographic

While our formal feedback period for the initiation phase of the project has ended, if you'd like to share something or communicate with us, please contact us here:


From presentations and infographics to art collections and interactive tools, the CWC team has developed an extensive collection of multimedia products so you can dive deeper into the research and results.

Project Objectives

III. Watershed Assessment
I. Engagement

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

II. Wildfire Assessment

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

To 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

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

V. Planning Integration

To 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.

Project History

The Connecting Wildlands & Communities project builds on the Climate Resilient Connectivity project, a 2.5 year project that has developed landscape maps to support connectivity of natural lands across the South Coast Ecoregion.

Project Partners and Sponsors

Climate Science Alliance logos Final-01.

Connecting Wildlands and Communities is supported by California Strategic Growth Council’s Climate Change Research Program with funds from California Climate Investments – Cap-and-Trade Dollars at Work.

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