Southern Montane Forests Project

A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy


Southern California’s Montane forests are “sky islands” of mountain habitat that feature conifers and several oak species. These forests are facing rapidly intensifying stressors and disturbances that are exacerbated by climate change.

The goal of this project is to advance our collective understanding of the vulnerabilities and challenges facing these forests and the opportunities and strategies for increasing forest resilience.

This collaborative project is led by the U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance, the Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at San Diego State University, and the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. Through collaborative planning sessions, guided by stakeholder input, we will develop a scientific assessment and create a conservation strategy for Southern California’s montane forests.

Project Objectives


Promote stakeholder engagement and collaboration and develop a common understanding among resource and fire managers, policy makers, the science community, Tribal partners, and other stakeholders regarding the threats to Southern California’s montane forests and the ecosystem services they provide as well as strategies to minimize those threats.


Work with these communities to:

 I. Develop a Road Map 

Develop a road map (the climate-informed conservation strategy) for sustainability of montane forests in southern California;

 II. Implement Strategies 

Inform planning and management efforts that implement the strategy; and

 III. Promote Collaboration 

Promote ongoing collaborative action to improve forest resilience by fostering a community of practice

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The Climate Science Alliance Team acknowledges the Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territory we work. We honor the continued presence and resilience of Indigenous communities and nations today, and thank those we work with for your friendship and your good will in our efforts to collaborate.


The Climate Science Alliance is fiscally sponsored by the California Wildlife Foundation (Tax ID: 68-0234744).

© Climate Science Alliance 2020