Adapting Natural Resource Management to Climate Change: The Blue Mountains and Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnerships
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Concrete ways to adapt to climate change are needed to help natural resource managers take the first steps to incorporate climate change into management and take advantage of opportunities to balance the negative effects of climate change. We recently initiated two science-management climate change adaptation partnerships, one with three national forests and other key stakeholders in the Blue Mountains region of northeastern Oregon, and the other with 16 national forests, three national parks and other stakeholders in the northern Rockies region. Goals of both partnerships were to: (1) synthesize published information and data to assess the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of key resource areas, including water use, infrastructure, fisheries, and vegetation and disturbance; (2) develop science-based adaptation strategies and tactics that will help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biological systems and management to a warmer climate; (3) ensure adaptation strategies and tactics are incorporated into relevant planning documents; and (4) foster an enduring partnership to facilitate ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the partnerships regions. After an initial vulnerability assessment by agency and university scientists and local resource specialists, adaptation strategies and tactics were developed in a series of scientist-manager workshops. The final vulnerability assessments and adaptation actions are incorporated in technical reports. The partnerships produced concrete adaptation options for national forest and other natural resource managers and illustrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessments and scientist-manager workshops in adapting to climate change.