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Creating a Climate-Informed U.S. Forest Service
Incorporating climate change impacts and adaptation into natural resource management planning and implementation is becoming a national priority. This trend can be seen in the recently enacted National Forest System 2012 Planning Rule and the U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Performance Scorecard. The Scorecard, to be completed annually by each national forest, is designed to evaluate the organizational capacity to assess vulnerability to climate change and take action to reduce the vulnerability of key resources. Similarly, the revised 2012 Planning Rule highlights the need to consider climate change impacts, including vulnerability and adaptation, as forests and grasslands revise their land management plans.
All 155 national forests and 20 grasslands are required to revise their land management plans, beginning with eight “early adopter” forests. This presents a critical opportunity to develop an effective process to assess climate impacts on wildlife and natural resources so that impacts can be incorporated into plan revisions, advancing the implementation of effective and robust management and conservation strategies.
Why Did We Undertake This Work?
The USFS has demonstrated interest in reducing the vulnerability of their mission to climate change. EcoAdapt is working to provide support to USFS regions and their partners as they evaluate and modify management to meet the challenges of change.
Why is EcoAdapt Uniquely Qualified to Take This Work On?
EcoAdapt has helped develop and advise resource management agencies in adaptation practice since 2008. With one of the broadest and deepest portfolios of adaptation support, EcoAdapt brings this experience to work with the USFS to help them innovate forest management for the future.
To improve understanding of potential vulnerabilities of changing climate conditions on key forest resources including ecosystems, species, and ecosystems services, and to develop adaptation strategies to help the Forest Service prepare for and respond to these challenges.
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