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National forests


Joyce, Linda A.; Blate, Geoffry M.; Littell, Jeremy S.; McNulty, Steven G.; Millar, Constance I.; Moser, Susanne C.; Neilson, Ronald P.; O'Halloran, Kathy; Peterson, David L. 2008. National forests. In: Julius, S.H.; West, J.M., eds. Preliminary review of adaptation options for climate-sensitive ecosystems and resources. Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.4. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Science Program: p. 3-1 to 3-127.

The National Forest System (NFS) is composed of 155 national forests (NFs) and 20 national grasslands (NGs), which encompass a wide range of ecosystems, harbor much of the nation's biodiversity, and provide myriad goods and services. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which manages the NFS, has broadened from water and timber to sustaining ecosystem health, diversity, and productivity to meet the needs of present and future generations. The evolution of this mission reflects changing societal values (e.g., increasing emphasis on recreation, aesthetics, and biodiversity conservation), a century of new laws, increasing involvement of the public and other agencies in NF management, and improved ecological understanding. Climate change will amplify the already difficult task of managing the NFS for multiple goals. This chapter offers potential adaptation approaches and management options that the USFS might adopt to help achieve its NFs goals and objectives in the face of climate change.

Keywords: national forests, national grasslands, climate change, global warming, ecosystems, adaptation


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: National forests
Electronic Publish Date: August 7, 2008
Last Update:
August 7, 2008

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