The central Pacific Coast of the United States is one of the few places in North America where rain and snowfall exhibited major prolonged shifts between wet and dry conditions during the last century.
The same strong decade-to-decade shifts also appear in records of discharge and levee failures
within the Sacramentoï¿½San Joaquin River system, which demonstrates that this behavior exerts a major influence on regional hydrology and water resources.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with scientists at the National Park Service, are investigating whether or not these persistent climatic changes affect key ecological processes and hydrological systems within four park units (Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area).
By focusing on three critical systems - forest fire activity, tree establishment and mortality and alpine hydrology - this research has the potential to provide insights that will be directly relevant to long-term planning and management in the Klamath Network parks.