Puyallup Tribe Climate Change Impact Assessment and Adaptation Options

The Pullayup Tribe of Indians, from the Puget Sound area of Washington State, have completed a climate impact assessment and adaptation strategy for the natural resources in the area on which they depend. This report combines the latest climate knowledge for the region with input from Tribal staff and members, and presents primary projected climate impacts for the Tribe and surrounding ecosystems, as well as strategic actions to build climate resilience. 

First, the Tribe analyzed climate science and projections for the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound region to understand the changes in sea level, precipitation, and temperature, along with the secondary impacts. The analysis included a spatial assessment of particular areas that may be most at-risk from sea level rise and storm surge. The report’s Climate Impacts and Projections chapter elaborates on the following impacts that are affecting the Tribal people, resources, traditions and infrastructure:

  • Temperature
  • Precipitation and Streamflow
  • Wildfire
  • Flooding
  • Stream Temperature
  • Landslides and Sediment Transport
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Ocean Acidification

The report also describes the sectors and resources of particular importance to the Puyallup Tribe, and how they will be affected by the climate impacts discussed. Sector-Specific Impacts are detailed for the following seven sectors:

  • Fisheries, Hatcheries, and Forage Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wildlife
  • Water Quality
  • Cultural Resources and Traditions
  • Transportation
  • Public Health and Safety

The assessment provides extensive detail for a number of wildlife species significant to the Tribe. For example, climate change will place additional stress on local salmon populations, especially for species such as steelhead, sockeye, coho, and stream-type chinook for which juvenile development occurs in freshwater streams. Some of the wildlife species discussed for the impacts of climate change on their survival include iconic and threatened species such as: wolverine, spotted owl, and elk.

Tribal staff also developed a list of potential climate adaptation measures for further consideration and evaluation. These Adaptation Options are outlined for each of the seven primary sectors described throughout the report, falling into five broad categories:

  1. Implement protection, restoration, and management practices
  2. Provide education and guidance
  3. Reevaluate policies, plans, and protocols
  4. Gather additional information
  5. Leverage partnerships



Publication Date: 2016


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:


Go To Resource