PORTLAND, Ore. January
9, 2012. Federal land managers on the Olympic Peninsula joined
in an exceptional partnership with the Pacific Northwest Research
Station and the University of Washington to develop a set of science-based
options that will help them manage their forests for resiliency
and sustainability in the face of a changing climate.
The options—which address management of vegetation, hydrology,
roads, fish, and wildlife on the peninsula—are published
in Adapting to Climate Change at Olympic National Forest and Olympic
National Park, a new U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research
Station report available online at http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/38702 and
in print by request.
“ Climate change is a major challenge to resource managers
because of the magnitude of its projected effects and because it’s
uncertain exactly when they will occur,” said David L. Peterson,
a station research biologist and the project’s principal
investigator. “These adaptation options can help managers
take the first steps to incorporating climate change into their
management plans and counteracting the negative effects of climate
The options are a direct outcome of a science-management partnership
between the Forest Service and National Park Service that began
in 2008 and was charged with developing adaptation strategies and
activities for federal forests on the Olympic Peninsula. The partnership
is an excellent example of the two agencies working together to
plan for climate change adaptation.
“ This case study was motivated by the desire of Federal
forest managers to develop adaptation alternatives to managing
resources in our changing environment,” said Dale Hom, Forest
Supervisor for Olympic National Forest.
Peterson organized the partnership along with University of Washington
research ecologist Jessica Halofsky—who served as the project’s
lead—former Olympic National Forest natural resources staff
officer Kathy O’Halloran, and Catherine Hawkins Hoffman,
then Chief of Olympic National Park’s Natural Resources Division.
The joint team began the study by conducting assessments of just
how sensitive the landscapes within Olympic National Forest and
Olympic National Park will likely be to the projected effects of
climate change. They reviewed the areas’ current management
activities, then conducted a series of science-management workshops,
which served as forums for brainstorming, vetting, and collaborative
development of adaptation strategies with the scientists and managers
The adaptation options outlined by the study are presented in
the new report in tables that summarize current and expected sensitivities
to climate change along with the set of recommended adaptation
strategies and activities.
In addition to informing management, the case study’s process—of
first evaluating climate change sensitivities, then assessing current
management practices and collaboratively developing adaptation
options—can be easily adopted by national forests, national
parks, and other federally managed areas.
Printed copies of the report can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or
calling (503) 261-1211 and referencing “PNW-GTR-844.”
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health,
diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands
to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency
manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to
state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry
research organization in the world. For more information, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw and http://www.fs.usda.gov/olympic.
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon,
and Washington and about 425 employees.