Climate Refugia in the Central Basin of Southern Nevada

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for BLM Resource Management in Southern NevadaTransition zone between Great Basin and Mojave Desert ecoregions, southern Nevada, United States; covering approximately 25 million acres

About This Project

This project tested all of the Yale Framework strategies, primarily using data developed for the Central and Mojave Basin and Range Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (conducted by NatureServe for the BLM). Vista was used to evaluate current and future threats to a large suite of species and ecosystems current distributions and modeled climate refugia areas for several of these elements. We also demonstrated the use of Vista to generate alternatives including targeting specific areas for ecosystem restoration (primarily invasive species treatment, rerouting proposed electrical transmission line corridors and relocating proposed solar power plants to reduce current impacts as well as avoid impacting potential future climate refugia.


This project was one of six pilot projects to test the Yale Mapping Framework for its application within the Bureau of Land Management’s planning and decision-making environment. The Framework provides guidance for integrating climate-change adaptation strategies into the context of natural-resource planning and policymaking. Rather than supplanting existing techniques, the Yale Framework provides simplified and flexible advice on models and data, and presents a list of commonly used datasets that can be helpful to planners. It assists conservation planners in selecting the assessment and modeling strategies that are most relevant to their specific needs.


Although this was a pilot demonstration project, BLM contracted with NatureServe to create a Manager’s Guide and Technical Guide for conducting similar work in other locations and is developing plans for applying Vista to a variety of management decision-making needs.