Forest Adaptation in Action: Climate Change Adaptation Projects in Northern Forests

Presentation to the 2016 Society of American Foresters National Convention.



Knowledge of the potential climate change impacts on ecosystems provides natural resource professionals with increasing information on how the ecosystems that they manage may respond. It is often unclear how much of this information can be incorporated into management planning and activities. The Climate Change Response Framework developed a structured approach that enables managers to work collaboratively across multiple spatial scales and provides access to usable information and resources regarding climate change. This approach, which includes the Adaptation Workbook, assists managers in creating management plans, projects, and prescriptions that enhance the ability of forests and other ecosystems to adapt, while simultaneously working to achieve the management goals associated with a particular piece of land. The Adaptation Workbook has been used by hundreds of natural resource professionals to generate site-specific adaptation actions that meet explicit management and conservation objectives. To date, more than 150 intentional adaptation demonstration projects have been developed on federal, state, tribal, county, conservancy, university, and private lands. This presentation will provide an overview of the resources that have been developed through the Framework, including the Adaptation Workbook, and describe adaptation efforts that are underway. Drawing upon lessons learned from in-person workshops and an existing network of on-the-ground adaptation projects, we will discuss concerns, barriers, and opportunities common across many projects and highlight characteristics of adaptation projects that are well-poised to increase the ability to adapt to future conditions.