Adapting to Climate Change in the Gorge

On Saturday, May 20, 2023 over 100 attendees came together to learn about how climate change is affecting the Columbia River Gorge.

Conference Agenda

Session I. Effects of Climate Change on the Physical Environment & Biological Communities

  • Climate Change, Snow, and Water in the Cascade Mountains; Oriana Chegwidden, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Forest Carbon Storage; Mark Harmon, Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • On the Move, The Effect of Climate Change on Columbia Gorge Wildlife and Plants; Bill Weiler, Wildlife Biologist, Board Member
  • Climate Change & Natural Production of Steelhead & Salmon in Columbia River Gorge streams; Pat Connolly, Ph.D. Stream Ecologist. USGS, Columbia River Research Lab (retired)

Session II. Climate Change and Environmental Equity

  • Climate Change and Impacts to Yakama First Foods and Culture; Elaine Harvey, Yakama Tribal member and Yakama Nation Fisheries Biologist
  • Climate Change and Environmental Equity in the Gorge; Ubaldo Hernandez, Senior Organizer, Columbia Riverkeeper

Session III. Adaptation and Action

Panel Discussion: What is Being Done to Mitigate Climate Change?


  • Darold E Ward,Ph.D., Lead Scientist Enviropyronics, LLC, Consulting, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. (US Forest Service, retired)
  • Lisa Naas Cook, Columbia River Gorge Commission
  • Peter Fink, White Salmon Community Activist
  • Ashley Thompson, Mid-Columbia Ag Research Station (OSU)
  • Alexia Kelly, Hood River Energy Council

Break-Out Sessions on Priority Issues with Panelists

Results from Break-Outs and Call to Action