Forest Adaptation Resources

Forests across the United States are already changing in response to the changing climate, and natural resource professionals increasingly need to address new challenges for management and conservation.

Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers provides a suite of materials that enables land managers to consider climate change and increase the ability of forests to cope with climate change impacts. It does not provide specific recommendations, but rather serves as a decision-support tool for incorporating adaptation considerations into current management objectives. 

Download the full report and individual chapters here (external link).

The Forest Adaptation Resources builds on the latest understanding on climate change impacts and options for adaptation, utilizing the combined expertise of scientists, land managers, and climate change adaptation specialists. Since its initial release in 2012, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science has worked with hundreds of public, private, and tribal land managers to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resource management and conservation activities using the Adaptation Workbook and other materials contained in the Forest Adaptation Resources.

 

What’s Inside

The ideas, tools, and resources presented in the different chapters are intended to inform and support existing decision-making processes of multiple organizations with diverse management goals. It does not provide recommendations, but rather serves as a decision-support tool. The resources include:

  • a description of the Climate Change Response Framework, which generated these resources
  • a brief guide to help forest managers judge or initiate vulnerability assessments
  • a “menu” of adaptation strategies and approaches that are directly relevant to forests of the Northeast and upper Midwest
  • a second menu of adaptation strategies and approaches oriented to urban forests
  • an adaptation process and step-by-step Adaptation Workbook instructions to assist land managers in developing and implementing on-the-ground climate adaptation actions
  • summaries of five real-world adaptation demonstrations showing how these resources have been used to develop adaptation tactics

 

The Adaptation Workbook

The Adaptation Workbook is a structured process to consider the potential effects of climate change on forest ecosystems and design forest management and conservation actions that can help prepare for changing conditions. The process is completely flexible to accommodate a wide variety of geographic locations, scales, forest types, management goals, and ownership types. The Workbook consists of 5 basic steps:

  1. Define goals and objectives
  2. Assess climate impacts and vulnerabilities
  3. Evaluate objectives considering climate impacts
  4. Identify adaptation approaches and tactics for implementation
  5. Monitor effectiveness of implemented actions

The Forest Adaptation Resources contains two versions of the Adaptation Workbook, a comprehensive version with step-by-step instructions and a shorter version that provides a streamlined set of considerations for those familiar with the process. The Adaptation Workbook is also available as an online tool.

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