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Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project

An Interagency Transportation, Land Use, and Climate Change Initiative

Planning for a rapidly growing region like Central New Mexico in an arid climate means addressing challenges of congestion, sprawl, energy use, vehicle emissions, and water scarcity exacerbated by climate change. With funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a group of federal agencies and the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG), located in Albuquerque, NM, embarked on a project to help the region address these intertwined challenges using scenario planning. This project built off of and complements an earlier scenario planning and climate change pilot in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The one-pager below summarizes the project.


The project launched in July 2013 after the selection of the Albuquerque region from a pool of several applicants. The project was completed in the spring of 2015.

Project Documents

Volpe worked with the FWS to create case studies documenting their collaboration with regional partners and how their work at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge will help the region prepare for the impacts of climate change. 

Volpe also worked with BLM to develop a technical report on climate change to support its ongoing travel and transportation management planning process for the Rio Puerco Field Office in Central New Mexico. This report analyzes downscaled climate change projections for central New Mexico and provides a framework for incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation into BLM’s transportation planning process.

Last, Volpe worked with the FHWA to create a final report that describes the methodology, analysis, and work completed as part of the project as well as challenges encountered and lessons learned throughout the course of the project. The purpose of the report is to not only document the project but to describe the process that another region of the country can follow if they choose to initiate a similar climate change scenario planning process. The final report was completed in April 2015:

If you are interested in pursuing a process similar to that which this project and the Cape Cod Pilot Project employed, please contact the project manager (see right column).

Updated: Wednesday, April 29, 2015