Research Published by the Western Rural Development Center at USU Discusses Climate Change


While the eastern U.S. is experiencing blazing heat, at the same time, the West is drenched in flooding and wildfires. Recent events in the past months clearly provide support of tremendous climate change.

The Western Rural Development Center, hosted at Utah State University, has published its latest issue of “Rural Connections.” This issue, “Climate Change Adaptations in the Rural West,” presents research and programs addressing the region’s various approaches to adapting to climate change.

“While everyone on earth will deal with the impacts of climate change, the West may be especially susceptible to adverse consequences,” said Don Albrecht, Western Rural Development Center director. “This is primarily because the region already faces severe water shortage concerns, and climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of droughts and reduce mountain snowpack. Anticipating and modifying to these uncertainties will be vital for the future sustainability of Western communities.”

This issue includes approaches to supporting rural community preparation for climate change, state fiscal implications of climate change legislation and explores whether carbon sequestration can help livestock producers and rural economies adapt to climate change. It also showcases activities occurring in the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic to help communities build their climate resilience.

The purpose of this issue is to help educate rural communities, researchers, educators, policy makers and others interested in how communities can adapt to climate change in the rural West.

The “Rural Connections” edition on climate adaptations is available for download from the WRDC website ( or by contacting the WRDC at 435-797-9732.

The Western Rural Development Center, hosted by Utah State University, is one of four regional centers funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to strengthen the capacity of local citizens to guide the future of their rural communities.

The Western Rural Development Center links the research and Extension capacity of land-grant universities in 13 western state and four U.S. territories. The efforts directly benefit rural communities by providing them with training and skills to invigorate their local economies.

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