In the Kenai River watershed, salmon are the lifeblood of the community. They are ingrained into our lifestyle, culture, and livelihood. Big changes may take place in the Kenai that could impact salmon. The Kenai River watershed was the focus of the Southcentral Test Case of the Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (Alaska ACE) project, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-effort project to study how communities are adapting to change throughout the state. From 2012-18 researchers from the University of Alaska collected biological, physical and social data in order to assess how the Kenai River watershed may change in the future. As the final step to integrate all of this information, researchers in the Southcentral Test Case undertook a project to develop alternative scenarios of how the Kenai River watershed may change in the future. The primary goals were to better understand the integrative nature of changes that might occur on the Kenai, and to provide a mechanism to incorporate future considerations into the current decision-making processes, given the range of environments that may exist in the future.
The scenario process is a scientific process that uses massive amounts of bio-physical and social data. However, the most important form of data comes from community stakeholder participation and input. The local knowledge obtained from community stakeholders is imperative to creating successful scenarios.
To begin the incorporation of local knowledge from the community, researchers conducted interviews with natural resource managers and city officials who are the most involved in the day-to-day activities that impact salmon on the Kenai Peninsula. These interviews were the basis for a Social Network Analysis (SNA) that identified key natural resource managers involved in the decision-making processes that affect salmon. Those key stakeholders teamed up with ACE scientists for the remainder of the scenario development process, providing key information that led to the development of five plausible scenarios of change in the Kenai.
Summaries and Documents
This website contains a variety of documents, products and resources related to the Salmon 2050 project. Workshop Summaries contains information on the two main Salmon 2050 events, in October 2015 and May 2016. Products and Resources contains a myriad of items produced as a result of the project, including summaries of the scenarios, maps and videos related to each scenario, a graphic of the social network analysis, interactive "sliders" that show encironmental change on the Kenai, and more. The Participants and Team page lists participating organizations and the Southcentral Test Case personnel who undertook the project.