Office of Sustainability and Climate Change
Performance Scorecard: 7- Adaptation Actions
Does the Unit conduct management actions that reduce the vulnerability of resources and places to climate change?
What are other forests doing?
Collaborators at the Pacific Northwest Research Station began a climate change adaptation case study with Olympic National Forest (R6) in partnership with Olympic National Park to determine how to adapt management of federal lands on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, to climate change. The case study began in the summer of 2008 and continued for 1½ years. The case study process involved science-based sensitivity assessments, review of management activities and constraints, and adaptation workshops in each of four focus areas (hydrology and roads, vegetation, wildlife, and fisheries). The process produced concrete adaptation options for the National Forest and Park, and demonstrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessment, science management workshops, and collaboration between federal land management units in adapting to climate change. Many of the ideas generated through this process can potentially be applied in other locations and in other agencies. See this GTR for more information.
On the Plumas National Forest (R5), several activities have been implemented that aim to increase forest resilience to stressors, and to facilitate transitions. Some of these include: thinning stands in fire adapted ecosystems to avoid overstocked conditions that might increase susceptibility to mortality from drought, insects, disease, and wildfire; maintaining a diversity of forest types by reducing and/or removing conifer encroachment in oak and aspen stands; and considering the use of genotypes or species in restoration strategies that are more suitable to warmer climates by utilizing seed sources from adjacent seed transfer zones or lower elevations.
Re-Framing Forest and Resource Management Strategies for a Climate Change Context
(Millar; Stephenson; Stephens. 2008)
A framework of options for addressing climate change issues through adaptation and mitigation as they relate to forest management. Includes information on resilience, resistance and facilitating transitions.
Responding to climate change in national forests: a guidebook for developing adaptation options
(Peterson; Millar; Joyce; Furniss; Halofsky; Neilson; Morelli; Lynn)
A guidebook featuring science-based principles, processes, and tools necessary to assist with
development of adaptation options on national forest lands.
Adapting to climate change at Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park.
(Halofsky; Peterson; O’Halloran, K.A.; Hawkins Hoffman. 2011)
An adaptation case study from the Olympic Peninsula, Washington.
CCRC Recommended Reading List
Filter by ‘Adaptation’ for more resources, including the list of references recommended in the scorecard guidance.
Forest adaptation resources: Climate change tools and approaches for land managers. (Swanston; Janowiak, eds.)
Adapting to Climate Change: A Short Course for Land Managers
An online curriculum of video presentations that focus on the implications of climate change for land management, and management options for dealing with those changes. Case studies on adaptation activities are included in this series.
Climate Change Presentations – Adaptation
Many presentations on the CCRC focus on the theme of adaptation to climate change. Depending on the ecological system or the level of detail that you are interested in, there could be variety options available for you. A few good places to start include:
Managing Natural Resources in the Face of Uncertainty – Jim Morrison
A Guidebook for Climate Change Adaptation – Connie Millar
Tools & Links:
(Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options) is one way to get an overview of possible management options for addressing climate change impacts (primarily in Regions 8 & 9 but expanding to other regions).
Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE):
This website features case studies and resources related to climate change adaptation. Adaptation examples cover a range of systems, from forests to human communities.
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 identify and incorporate relevant adaptation actions based on the vulnerability of key resources (identified in Element 6) into priority setting and management actions. The narrative for this element asks you to answer the following questions:
What adaptation activities are you doing on your Unit to reduce the vulnerability of your key resources to climate change?
Are these activities aimed at increasing resilience to stressor impacts, promoting resistance to climate change, or facilitating transitions to respond adaptively to environmental change?
Examples: maintaining and enhancing biological diversity, reducing terrestrial or aquatic exotic species, modifying genetic guidelines for planting nursery stock, or investing in infrastructure that can withstand a disaster.
Adaptation actions will usually take place at the Unit level, but some might encompass larger scales that include the Unit. Support should be provided by Regional Offices, Research Stations, and the Washington Office. Units are encouraged to consult their regional climate change coordinator or partners for assistance.