Office of Sustainability and Climate Change
Performance Scorecard: 5- Other Partnerships
Have climate change considerations and activities been incorporated into existing or new partnerships (other than science partnerships)?
How do you incorporate climate change into partnerships?
You and your leadership team will be the best judges of what the right approach is for your particular Unit. There are many activities you might consider, including:
- Design and deliver place-based climate change education events for employees, youth, volunteers, or the general public (Element 1).
- Incorporate climate change adaptation and mitigation concepts into community-level or grass-roots collaborative planning processes, such as watershed assessments (Elements 7 and 9).
- Develop state-level or regional climate impact assessments for the forest sector (Element 6).
- Engage in joint ecosystem restoration projects as part of your adaptation strategy (Element 7).
- Set up a local division of a citizen science climate change monitoring program (Element 8).
- Increase understanding of climate change impacts using the traditional ecological knowledge of American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal communities (Elements 5 and 6).
What are other forests doing?
The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (R4) (GYCC) is a partnership-based coalition initially formed between the National Park Service and US Forest Service in 1964. Participating National Forests include the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Bridger-Teton, Caribou-Targhee, Custer, Gallatin, and Shoshone. Since its formation, the GYCC has expanded to include land managers from surrounding elk and wildlife refuges in the Yellowstone region. The partnership has also expanded thematically, to address emerging as well as ongoing threats to the Greater Yellowstone ecoregion. In recent years, the GYCC has focused on climate change impacts and effects facilitating a landscape-scale focus on climate change science in the Greater Yellowstone Area. In addition, the GYCC has been very proactive and successful in coordinating sustainable operations activities across jurisdictional boundaries, forming a Sustainable Operations Subcommittee that focuses on water and energy conservation, waste prevention and recycling, and fleet and transportation management. In June 2011, the GYCC released Sustainability Across Boundaries: The Greater Yellowstone Area Climate Action Plan.
The Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center (R10) (ACRC) in Juneau, AK was established in August, 2009 and represents a partnership among many organizations, including the Tongass and Chugach National Forests, the Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Alaska Region of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, the University of Alaska (Southeast and Fairbanks), The Nature Conservancy, the City and Borough of Juneau, and others. The ACRC develops and delivers educational opportunities, facilitates and convenes research, and promotes learning for the community about temperate rainforests. ACRC facilitates public policy dialogue and fosters a greater understanding of the interactions among rainforest ecosystems, communities, and social and economic systems. In April 2012, the ACRC will host a symposium entitled “Coastal Rainforests: Integrating Communities, Climate Science, and Resource Management” that is designed to engage the conservation community and the public alike in a meaningful and ongoing dialogue focused around climate change.
The Partnership Guide: The Power of People Working Together
A very informative “how-to” and “why” guide that is full of practical advice on how to actually formalize a partnership, customized to the needs of the Forest Service Deputy Areas.
Olympic National Forest & Olympic National Park
A case study of planning and expected climate changes across jurisdictional boundaries.
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
A case study that includes a strong cross-boundary partnership component, relevant to elements 4 & 5.
Tools & Other Resources:
Most National Forests will want to focus on expanding existing partnerships to include a climate change component but in some circumstances, forests may want to consider forming new partnerships to build interagency coordination, engage youth in climate response, support community and regional climate change-related collaboration, etc. Below are some tools that can facilitate ideas to expand existing partnerships or help to form new partnerships.
The Conservation Registry
This is an excellent online database that allows the user to explore (and input) conservation projects, programs, and partnerships spearheaded by a variety of government agencies and NGOs using a google-maps interface. A unit may use this tool to discover and connect with climate-change related projects happening within a shared watershed or landscape; conversely, the unit could use this tool to inform the public of new or ongoing climate change-related projects on or around the National Forest as a way of developing or furthering partnership, community engagement, or volunteer opportunities. It is also possible to create a customized portal for a particular entity in the Conservation Registry (see The Pacific Coast Joint Venture as an example).
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)
LCCs are collaborative networks of scientists, resource specialists, land managers, and interested public and private organizations and individuals who “share a common need for scientific information and interest in conservation.” There are 21 LCCs throughout the United States, each covering a unique ecoregion. While joining the LCC network may help you to initiate or expand Science and Management Partnership (Element 4), it may also help to connect with other organizations to expand collaborative planning or cross-boundary restoration efforts.
The Partnership Resource Center
Provides online resources to build effective partnerships focused around the National Forests & Grasslands. This website is a collaborative project of the National Forest Foundation and the US Forest Service.
The Ecosystem Management Initiative
This website offers case studies of natural resource-related collaboration and partnership case studies so that the conservation community can “learn from experience.” Case studies are organized around location or theme; this may give your unit some ideas for possibilities, while learning from the experience of others.
Consider also …
Other partners to consider include:
- State Foresters
- State-level forest resource groups, forest advisory councils, or forest health councils
- American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal governments and communities
- Community-based forestry coalitions
- Watershed councils
- Resource conservation districts
- Grazing associations
- Utilities and utility commissions
All Scorecard Elements
- Employee Education
- Climate Change Coordinators
- Program Guidance
- Science-Management Partnerships
- Other Partnerships
- Assessing Vulnerability
- Adaptation Actions
- Carbon Assessment and Stewardship
- Sustainable Operations
Getting to YES
To answer “yes,” your Unit should include climate change-related considerations and activities in one or more existing or new partnerships to expand your capacity to respond to climate change. The narrative for this element asks you:
In what ways have climate change considerations and activities been incorporated into your existing or new partnerships?
Partnerships may exist at the Unit level, with a coalition of Units, or at sub-regional/regional scales. Units are encouraged to scale up and aggregate based on shared social and political interests as well as partner geography. However, larger-scale alliances must be beneficial to the Unit level.
Full Guidance Document
PDF, 2.2 MB, 104 pp