Shannon, P.D., Swanston, C.W., Janowiak, M.K., Handler, S.D., Schmitt, K.M., Brandt, L.A., Butler-Leopold, P.R. and Ontl, T., 2019. Adaptation strategies and approaches for forested watersheds. Climate Services. 2019.


Intentional climate adaptation planning for ecosystems has become a necessary part of the job for natural resource managers and natural resource professionals in this era of non-stationarity. One of the major challenges in adapting ecosystems to climate change is in the translation of broad adaptation concepts to specific, tangible actions. Addressing management goals and values while considering the long-term risks associated with local climate change can make forested watershed management plans more robust to uncertainty and changing conditions. We provide a menu of tiered adaptation strategies, which we developed with a focus on forests of the Midwest and Northeastern U.S., as part of a flexible framework to support the integration of climate change considerations into forested watershed management and conservation activities. This menu encapsulates ideas from the literature into statements that signify climate adaptation intention and provide examples of associated tactics to help ground the concepts in specific actions. Finally, we describe two demonstration projects, shared through the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science’s Climate Change Response Framework, that have used this Forested Watershed Adaptation Menu and Adaptation Workbook in project-level planning.