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Tree-ring data suggest B.C. is facing harshest droughts in 350 years

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Fires, Drought, Melting Glaciers: Tribal Climate Experts Hope We Haven’t Passed the Tipping Point

The County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon has burned 100 square miles, or 64,438 acres—and is the smallest of the fires plaguing Indian country in the Northwest at the moment. (Photo: Peter Mackwell/InciWeb)

The County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon has burned 100 square miles, or 64,438 acres—and is the smallest of the fires plaguing Indian country in the Northwest at the moment. (Photo: Peter Mackwell/InciWeb)

Richard Walker, Indian Country Today, August 24, 2015

Mother Earth is teaching a lesson. Or giving us a scolding.

The message, according to those working for climate change solutions: We have to change the way we live, the way we use the land and waters.

In the drought-stricken west, more than 1.3 million acres of parched wildlands are being consumed by fire. Year-to-date, the total number of acres consumed by wildfire—a record 7,210,959—exceeds the 10-year average by 2.2 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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As salmon vanish in the dry Pacific Northwest, so does Native heritage

The carcass of a Chinook salmon, an apparent victim of high water temperature, is shown on the bank of the Clackamas River in Oregon. Oregon wildlife officials are restricting fishing on most of the state’s rivers in an unprecedented effort to aid fish populations dying off from high water temperatures as the state suffers ongoing drought conditions. (Reuters/Rick Swart/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

The carcass of a Chinook salmon, an apparent victim of high water temperature, is shown on the bank of the Clackamas River in Oregon. Oregon wildlife officials are restricting fishing on most of the state’s rivers in an unprecedented effort to aid fish populations dying off from high water temperatures as the state suffers ongoing drought conditions. (Reuters/Rick Swart/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

, Washington Post, July 30, 2015

As a drought tightens its grip on the Pacific Northwest, burning away mountain snow and warming rivers, state officials and Native American tribes are becoming increasingly worried that one of the region’s most precious resources — wild salmon — might disappear.

Native Americans, who for centuries have relied on salmon for food and ceremonial rituals, say the area’s five species of salmon have been declining for years, but the current threat is worse than anything they have seen. Read the rest of this entry

Sockeye face ‘catastrophic’ collapse in South Okanagan

A spawning sockeye salmon is seen making its way up the Adams River in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park near Chase, B.C. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

A spawning sockeye salmon is seen making its way up the Adams River in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park near Chase, B.C. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Only 18,000 sockeye expected to return to B.C.’s South Okanagan

CBC News, July 28, 2015

A potentially catastrophic collapse of the sockeye salmon run is unfolding on the Columbia River system this year.

Scientists once predicted that about 100,000 sockeye would return to spawning grounds in the rivers and streams in British Columbia’s South Okanagan region.

In fact, it was supposed to be one of the largest sockeye runs in recent history, said Okanagan Nation Alliance fish biologist Richard Bussanich. Read the rest of this entry

‘The water table is dropping all over the world’: NASA warns we’re on the path to global drought