Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Resources of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a two-day adaptation planning workshop for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The workshop focused on identifying adaptation options for eight key resource areas, including forested vegetation, non-forested vegetation, wildlife, hydrology, fisheries, recreation, cultural/heritage values, and ecosystem services. The report includes a general overview of the workshop methodology and provides a suite of possible adaptation strategies and actions for each key resource area. Adaptation actions were linked with the climate-related vulnerabilities they help to ameliorate as well as the direct/indirect effects they may have on other resource areas.

Climate resilience evaluation and awareness tool exercise with North Hudson Sewerage Authority and New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) and Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) initiatives are working to coordinate their efforts and support climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. This report details a recent exercise that provided an opportunity for these parties to collaborate on assessment and planning with respect to potential climate change impacts on utility infrastructure and natural resources. The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) was used to support the collaborative process of identifying climate change threats, assessing potential consequences, and evaluating adaptation options for both a utility and for the overall watershed.

North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool

The North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool was created to help marine protected area managers evaluate the implications of climate change for the habitats of their sites. This tool has three parts (a user guide, a set of blank worksheets, and a booklet containing sample completed worksheets) that are available as downloadable PDFs. The blank worksheets are in a dynamic PDF format so that users can easily fill, save and share their completed worksheets. The User Guide and sample worksheets provide the narrative explanation of how to use the tool, while the blank worksheets are the hands-on component. Together, they comprise a tool that can help marine protected area managers conduct a rapid vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development process.

A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Resources of Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a vulnerability assessment for 28 focal resources, including 8 ecosystems and 20 species, identified as important by Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The report includes a general summary of past and projected climate trends for the region; downscaled climate data and trends; vulnerability assessment methods; and vulnerability assessment findings for 28 ecosystems and species.

14 Solutions to Problems Climate Change Poses for Conservation: Examples from the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund

While climate change is still a relatively new concern for conservation practitioners, a growing number of organizations and agencies are tackling the challenge. These groups are identifying and implementing on-the- ground projects to address the effects of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems. In this report, we describe several climate-driven problems that are projected to affect, or are already affecting, particular wildlife species and ecosystems, and solutions that conservation groups are implementing to help plants and animals respond and adapt. These projects are tangible examples of climate-informed conservation, and can serve as inspiration for others grappling with similar issues.

Land Conservation in a Changing Climate: Stewardship Science and Financing

The purpose of the 2016 Berkley Workshop was to explore some of the ways that land conservation groups might best respond to our changing climate, with particular emphasis on the science and finance guiding and enabling the stewardship of natural areas.

Among the major themes were the following:

  • While increasing numbers of land trusts are incorporating the changing climate into their work, important issues arise around how useful traditional tools will be, as well as whether many land trusts have the capacity to engage in the more active management of conserved lands that is likely to be required.
  • There are many ways that the stewardship of conserved lands may help address aspects of climate change, from storing carbon to mitigating flooding or heat waves. Capturing those benefits will require more systematic efforts to demonstrate that natural areas can provide those services in ways that fit infrastructure owners' and investors' decision-making contexts and criteria.
  • Sources of funding for conservation projects with climate benefits continue to expand in number and quantity. However, the site specificity of such projects raises real questions about how the volume of replicable investment opportunities that large investors are seeking can best be generated from such projects.
  • In addition to science and finance, the participants felt it was also critically important to engage on the social aspects of these topics--in particular, the need to expand the range of human communities that benefit from the climate and other services provided by conserved lands. Meeting this need will require new collaborations among conservation organizations and others working on topics from renewable energy to climate justice.

Rapid Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategies for the National Marine Sanctuary and Territory of American Samoa

This report summarizes the results of a rapid vulnerability assessment (July 2016) and adaptation strategy planning (September 2016) workshops for 10 focal resources in the Territory and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa by engaging with stakeholders, including village leaders, community members, resource managers, local government representatives, and business owners that rely on the resources with the goal of increasing climate resilience in the region. 

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Priority Wildlife Species

The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife and the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment jointly developed a climate-change vulnerability assessment for priority wildlife and plant species and habitats on the Navajo landscape. The priority species and habitats included in this analysis were identified by the entire staff of NNDFW through a structured planning process.

This report provides a summary of projected climate-change impacts for the southwestern United States and Navajo lands as well as an assessment of attributes promoting climate vulnerability and resilience for priority wildlife and plant species. Animal species discussed in this report are the Golden Eagle, Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lion, and American Black Bear. Plant species discussed in this report include Pinyon Pine, Yucca spp., Mesa Verde Cactus, Navajo Sage, and Salt Cedar (Tamarisk).

This vulnerability assessment provides a conceptual framework for further climate adaptation planning on the Navajo landscape within an adaptive management context. Specific climate adaptation actions that are proposed in this report include: conservation of wildlife movement corridors; “climate smart” reintroductions of Desert Bighorn Sheep; consideration of Golden Eagles in the planning and siting of renewable energy developments; and actions to reduce human conflicts with Black Bears. An example is provided to show how landscape connectivity analyses can be used to identify areas where “on-the-ground” conservation actions can be implemented.

EPA Region 10 Climate Change and TMDL Pilot - Qualitative Assessment: Evaluating the Impacts of Climate Change on Endangered Species Act Recovery Actions for the South Fork Nooksack River, WA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 and EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and Office of Water (OW) have launched a pilot research project to consider how projected climate change impacts could be incorporated into a total maximum daily load (TMDL) program and influence restoration plans. The pilot research project will use a temperature TMDL being developed for the South Fork Nooksack River (SFNR), in Washington, as the pilot TMDL for a climate change analysis. An overarching goal of the pilot research project is to ensure that relevant findings and methodologies related to climate change are incorporated into the the SFNR Temperaure TMDL in such a way that the regulatory objectives and timelines of the TMDL are also met. 

Becuase of the collaborative nature of this project, the project objectives have been specified for EPA Region 10 and OW, and for EPA ORD. The pilot research project objectives are summarized below. 

Climate Adaptation and Action Plan for the Norton Bay Watershed, Alaska

The changing weather patterns in Alaska are, already, having substantial impacts on Native Alaskan village communities. Increased stream temperatures combined with other climate change related impacts of high river flows, altered ice flows and stream bank erosion, all combine with mining and related development in the Norton Bay Watershed (Watershed) to directly threaten the fishery and wildlife habitat upon which the Native Villages in the area (Villages) depend for their subsistence fishing and hunting. In addition, reduced water flows in the Watershed caused by water diversions from mining and other development activity are exacerbated by the effects of climate change. This can increase water temperatures and impair fish and wildlife habitat.

The Norton Bay Intertribal Watershed Council has developed this adaptation plan as the first step in the long range goal of addressing the many serious consequences of climate change and other non-climate stressors to the landscape and waters of the Norton Bay Watershed. Through a year- long assessment and planning process, the Council has documented the current and future risks, identified potential opportunities to adapt to climate impacts, and put forth here a plan that outlines specific goals, objectives, and action steps necessary to begin to address these urgent needs for the benefit of the four native villages living in Norton Bay and the surrounding ecosystems on which they depend. In addition, this plan can serve as a model for similar adaptation efforts needed across the Alaskan landscape.