Office of the Climate Change Advisor
Forest Service Response
National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change. PDF, 3.24 MB, 32 pp
Roadmap Summary Brochure. PDF, 551 K, 2 pp
All National Forests are working on strategies to adjust and prepare for new conditions created by changing climates (adaptation), and to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere (mitigation). To guide the Forest Service in achieving this goal, we have developed a Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change.
NFS Carbon Assessments
Carbon dioxide uptake by forests in the conterminous United States offset approximately 16 percent of our national total carbon dioxide emissions in 2011. Given the increasing impacts these emissions are having on the stability of our climate system, the management of forests and grasslands play an increasingly important role in mitigating and managing the impact of emissions and meeting national goals for reducing carbon pollution.
The Forest Service has developed regional carbon assessment reports (whitepapers) to help forest managers and the public understand how much carbon is stored in forest ecosystems and harvested wood products. The baseline forest carbon reports provide information from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data on carbon stocks and trends for seven different forest ecosystem carbon pools – above-ground live tree, below-ground live tree, standing dead, understory, down dead wood, forest floor and soil organic carbon – for the period 1990 to 2013. These reports also provide estimates of carbon stored in HWP over longer time periods depending upon data availability. This is provided as a nationally consistent data set with which we can better understand geographic differences and important trends.
Carbon stock and trend information, in conjunction with companion assessments on forest carbon disturbances (currently being developed) will help inform forest managers and the public of the relationship between carbon storage and past management and disturbance impacts and to begin considering the short and long-term carbon consequences of alternative forest management strategies.
NFS Carbon Assessments Briefing Paper. PDF 423 KB, 2 pp
Northern Region (R1) Report. PDF 2377 KB, 42 pp
Rocky Mountain Region (R2) Report. PDF 2405 KB, 40 pp
Southwestern Region (R3) Report. PDF 2397 KB, 40 pp
Intermountain Region (R4) Report. PDF 2424 KB, 41 pp
Pacific Southwest Region (R5) Report. PDF 2583 KB, 44 pp
Pacific Northwest Region (R6) Report. PDF 2630 KB, 46 pp
Southern Region (R8) Report. PDF 2489 KB, 42 pp
Eastern Region (R9) Report. PDF 2490 KB, 42 pp
Alaska Region (R10) Report. PDF 2030 KB, 34 pp
Contact Karen Dante (email@example.com) for ecosystem carbon stocks and harvested wood products datasets.
Climate Change Performance Scorecard. PDF,
Guidance Document. PDF, 2.2 MB, 104 pp
Scorecard Summary Postcard. PDF, 2.8 MB, 2 p
Since 2011, each National Forest and Grassland has used a 10-point scorecard to report accomplishments and plans for improvement on ten questions in four dimensions – organizational capacity, engagement, adaptation, and mitigation. By 2015, each is expected to answer yes to at least seven of the scorecard questions, with at least one yes in each dimension. The goal is to create a balanced approach to climate change that includes managing forests and grasslands to adapt to changing conditions, mitigating climate change, building partnerships across boundaries, and preparing our employees to understand and apply emerging science.
Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell summarizes the Strategic Framework. PDF, 103 K, 10 p
The Strategic Framework for Responding to Climate Change is based on the Forest Service mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forest and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Change Adaptation Plan presents strategies and actions to address the effects of climate change on key mission areas including agricultural production, food security, rural development, and forestry and natural resources conservation.
This report is a scientific assessment of the current condition and likely future condition of forest resources in the United States relative to climatic variability and change. It serves as the U.S. Forest Service forest sector technical report for the National Climate Assessment and includes descriptions of key regional issues and examples of a risk-based framework for assessing climate-change effects.
President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is a government-wide plan for executive actions and heightened emphasis on dealing with compelling risks and opportunities of a changing climate. The plan is not only a set of actions and priorities, but also a statement to Americans and world citizens that climate change is a serious issue impacting us today, not just sometime in the future, and that dealing with it is the responsibility of all federal agencies and their partners, not some specialized or elite group working on an isolated issue.
In 2011, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s strategy to promote the use of wood as a green building material and directed the Forest Service to take the lead in implementing the strategy by favoring wood in new building construction, enhancing research and development projects to expand opportunities as green building materials, and identifying innovative uses of wood in nonresidential construction projects.