Scientists have identified northern New England as one of the most climate resilient places to live in the country. Pressure due to the changing climate may force people to choose whether to stay where they are – places facing extreme drought, wild fires, or hurricanes – or to move to places where the changing climate is less brutal. People who choose their new location based on factors of climate change are referred to as “climate migrants.” Research has suggested that most climate migrants in the US will likely move within 100 miles of their home, meaning that the Upper Valley could see more migrants from New York and Boston moving in during the coming years.
On November 9th the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup and Vital Communities are hosting a virtual forum on planning for climate migration. Former UVLT board member Elena Mihaly, who is the Vice President and Senior Attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation Vermont, will be laying out the reasons the Upper Valley and other rural New England regions rank in the top of the EPA’s Cumulative Resilience Screening Index, and what climate effects our region can expect.
From the Valley News: “There is a lot more pressure on natural resources from what we saw just this past year,” she (Mihaly) said. “Access to the outdoors, open space, scenic beauty” — the reasons many people choose to make the Upper Valley their home– “They’re the very things that are going to be most threatened if we don’t adequately make sure we’re protecting environmental protections and laws.”