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It recognizes that societies in remote rural areas occupy a marginal position within national politics. It recognizes a variety of positive opportunities and negative challenges in regional and national contexts, both in past history and in possible futures. Residents can address challenges and take advantage of opportunities, drawing on core values of local society the strength of local identity, the importance of local self-reliance and mobilizing their social ties and local organizations. The following sections present the research sites and specific responses to impacts of glacier retreat in each and provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of a large body of conversations which we recorded in these sites.

We show that the residents, though aware of the climate change frame, rely much more extensively on the community frame, using it to construct and carry out responses to the changes which they see in their environment. We present brief descriptions here of the three research sites. Fuller descriptions can be found in Online Resource A.

The glaciers, rivers, lakes, and snowpack support winter and summer recreational activities. Settled in the nineteenth century, the towns were initially dependent on logging and on the production of cement, though these activities have largely ended. Recreation tourism is the major source of income, supplemented by wage income from employment in nearby urban areas.

The Dwellers In The Mirage

There is a large hydroelectric power facility close to Concrete, but it has few local employees. The Italian site is made up of three villages, Trafoi, Stilfs, and Sulden, in northern Italy on the border with Switzerland and Austria. The total population is Following the collapse of the mining industry in the eighteenth century and farming in the nineteenth century, the region shifted to tourism as a major source of income. Though historically part of the Tyrol in Austria, the region passed to Italy after World War I, later receiving the status of an autonomous province.

It remains strongly German-speaking,. The Peruvian site is a village, Copa, composed of seven sectors or hamlets, with a total population of Agriculture and livestock raising are the major economic activities, as they have been for centuries. The area experienced significant disruptions in the s, with a major earthquake and a significant agrarian reform program. The residents speak Quechua, an indigenous language, and many are bilingual in Spanish as well.

Forest dwellers are the best protectors of the environment

These three sites share a significant reliance on livelihoods agriculture, tourism that are based on local resources and are located on lands which they own; they also rely strongly on local governance institutions to manage their affairs. The agrarian reform brought a series of conflicts to this region and led to continued attention of the government in it. The communities have sought state support to construct a series of canals which transport water between different drainages and protested state plans to allow mines to operate in the area, threatening diversion and pollution of a major river.

Mendoza discusses the remote Argentine region of Patagonia, where mountain tourism, centered on climbing and trekking, has boomed since the s, largely displacing the remnants of the livestock-raising estates that earlier characterized the region. National parks control much of the prime sites for visitors, and the negotiations between different groups—tourists, the owners and workers in tourist enterprises, researchers, and land managers—are influenced by changing national policies of land management and tourism development.

The Ladakhi are Buddhist and speak a Tibetan language. Their traditional agricultural livelihoods face difficulties from decreasing water supplies and also from the transformation of the region by the presence of the Indian state. Lying close to the border with Pakistan, Ladakh has seen a large expansion of military facilities and state involvement in local governance. In- and out-migration have grown significantly.

As indicated above, these other sites differ from the ones discussed in this article because of the greater state control of productive lands granting mineral concessions in Peru, tourism sites in Argentina and Nepal, military facilities in India and the stronger presence of state institutions in local affairs.


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Nonetheless, they have a broad resemblance to the three sites in this paper, since their dominant frames focus on community, though with tighter articulation with the national state affiliation with the state in Peru, alignment with the state in Argentina, accommodation to the state in India in Nepal. The climate change frame, though somewhat more salient than in the sites in this article, remains of secondary importance.

Our research at all three sites was conducted using two sets of methods. Secondly, we assembled a dataset of three sorts of conversations: 1 in-depth interviews, in which one interviewer spoke with a community resident; 2 focus groups, in which one researcher facilitated discussion by a group of community residents; and 3 analysis of records of community meetings. For the first two, we recorded and transcribed the conversations; for the third, we accessed the detailed minutes of meetings, recorded by participants.

See Online Resource B for a table of demographics and information on conversation types and a fuller description of the research methods. To assess the importance of the two frames in these settings, we draw on our ethnographic research as well as the recorded conversations to discuss three specific cases of collective activities, undertaken by the communities.

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The cases are ones that could plausibly be considered from the community frame because of the scale of action and from the climate change frame because the focus of action is a sector impacted directly by glacier retreat. In the discussion of each, we open with a discussion of a specific impact of glacier retreat, trace the history of the impacted sector and the local response, and then draw on representative actions and comments to show the importance of the two frames.

We find that the community frame is the dominant one in all three cases. In the discussion section, we suggest that these actions can be classified as adaptations, though they do not fit precisely with standard definitions of the term. In the towns of Concrete and Glacier, glacier retreat has had negative consequences for tourism, since ice and snow have constituted the major attractions.

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The Mount Baker ski area, which dates back to the s, brings large numbers of visitors. It has one of the longest ski seasons in the region, both because of the heavy snowfall it receives and because the glacier surfaces retain snow more effectively than rock or soil. Mount Baker supports summer skiing as well, drawing people who hike up on the glaciers or reach them by helicopter and snowmobile. Moreover, the glaciers are an attraction for summer visitors, whether they wish simply to view them or to hike up to or on them.

Mount Baker contains the lowest elevation permanent ice in the contiguous USA, making it an important site for recreational ice climbers. Glacier retreat thus threatens the cryosphere tourism that has been central to the local economy for decades. In this context, the steps that the towns have taken to create and expand festivals which draw tourists to other attractions, including historical heritage and wildlife, could be seen as responses to glacier retreat. These festivals have been presented by both frames, but the community frame is the more frequently mentioned.

The oldest of the festivals, Cascade Days in Concrete, dates back to , when townspeople established it to promote highway construction over the crest of the Cascades. It has been held every year in August since then and expanded in recent years with support from a community nonprofit organization, the Imagine Concrete Foundation, established in The North Cascades Vintage Fly-In, founded in , attracts vintage plane owners and fanciers to the municipal airport in Concrete each July.

It, too, has grown recently, when meetings with the Concrete City Council addressed the issues of revenue-sharing and noise that had created some local opposition. The Skagit Eagle Festival, first held in , brings visitors to Concrete and other towns each January to view the large concentrations of bald eagles, attend events centered on wildlife, and engage in activities centered on local heritage, including hayrides and Native American storytelling. In addition, other festivals and events have been established more recently: since , there has been a weekly Ghost Walk through the Concrete town center in October.

Glacier has two events as well, established in both the last decade by the Mount Baker Chamber of Commerce: Glacier Days in August and a popular bicycle race in September from Glacier to the Mt. Baker Ski Area. All of these events are run by local volunteers, who coordinate with town authorities. In the interviews, a few people raised climate issues when discussing snow- and ice-based recreation, though they did not use a climate change frame.


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In general, local residents emphasized the importance of supporting and expanding tourism. They couched this concern through a community frame, supporting livelihoods and intergenerational continuity, rather than through a climate change frame of adaptation and response to glacier retreat. People come up to go hiking, they come up to go hunting, people come up to go eagle watching in the winter. They stop in the middle of the road and look at the eagles. Other people mentioned Cascade Days, not in terms of income and livelihoods, but as part of community social life.

Some note that it provides an occasion for former residents to return to visit. I usually get about eight of our classmates to come home. Others see the festival as an expression of community spirit. I realize how corny that sounds to many people, but I truly believe that. The planning, organization, and execution of Cascade Days is a prime example.

Such community activities simply would cease to exist without the numerous volunteers who step forward. I am amazed by the number of people willing to give their time. In sum, residents of both Concrete and Glacier are actively involved in community organizations and activities. The festivals are one element of these efforts.

Sea Change (Dwellers in the Between Book 3)

The residents do not discuss the winter or summer festivals through a climate change frame, as responses to cryosphere processes like glacier retreat, but rather through a community frame, as ways to support livelihoods, maintain awareness of the past, retain young people, and draw out-migrants back. Glacier retreat has had negative consequences for energy production in Stilfs, which has long relied on local hydropower plants for electricity.

It has also become more unreliable, since it has been interrupted more frequently by debris flows, also associated with glacial processes. The debris flows increase the sediment load to a level which could damage the hydroelectric facilities, requiring temporary closures or reduced production as the water flows through settling basins. Moreover, demand for electricity, particularly in the tourism sector, has been increasing, due in part to climate change; resorts have smaller areas of glaciers which can be used for skiing, and the snow season is becoming shorter.

As a result, the resorts use snow machines, which require a great deal of electricity to operate.

One of the steps that the local electricity provider has taken to address this deficiency of hydropower capacity is the installation of biomass generation using wood chips. Residents have discussed these facilities using both the climate change and community frames, but the community frame is presented more often.

Educational Resources

The earliest hydropower plants in the area were very small ones, set up by hotels to serve their guests. The Italian government under Mussolini sought to expand electricity production in the region, to export electricity to other regions, and to promote local industrialization as a means of attracting Italian-speaking migrants to this German-speaking region. The cooperative maintained its autonomy, though the national government built other power plants in the region and expanded the grid which linked them. Postwar governments also sought to increase energy production through the creation in of the Italian National Electricity Agency, which acquired regional power utilities throughout the country.

It required the Stilfs cooperative to join the national grid, and for a time acquired ownership of the power lines in Stilfs itself.