Climate-Resource Scenarios to Inform Climate Change Adaptation in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Amber N. Runyon, Gregor W. Schuurman, Brecken C. Robb, Jeremy Littell, Mark E. Miller, Joel H. Reynolds
Posted on: 3/12/2024 - Updated on: 3/12/2024

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CAKE Team

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Abstract

This report illustrates use of scenario planning as a climate change adaptation tool supporting Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve’s Resource Stewardship Strategy. 

The primary objective of scenario planning is to help resource managers and scientists make management and planning decisions informed by assessments of critical future uncertainties. This report outlines a process that synthesized future climate projections into three distinct but plausible and relevant climate summaries for the focal area and used them to develop climate-resource scenarios through participatory scenario planning. 

Initial steps identified the priority resource management topics and the corresponding related climate uncertainties. Next, local climate summaries were used to develop divergent climate futures: those that describe the broadest possible range of plausible conditions while capturing relevant uncertainty. The final phase further developed the climate futures and their resource implications. These participatory scenario planning exercises occurred virtually in fall (August–November) 2021. 

The climate-resource scenarios informed adaptation strategies in conjunction with the park’s Resource Stewardship Strategy development. The scope and complexity of this effort is unique but elements from the scenarios and resource implications have broad applicability to other large, protected areas in Alaska and Northwest Canada.

Citation

Amber N. Runyon, Gregor W. Schuurman, Brecken C. Robb, Jeremy Littell, Mark E. Miller, Joel H. Reynolds. (2024). Climate-Resource Scenarios to Inform Climate Change Adaptation in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. National Park Service (NPS). 

Affiliated Organizations

Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, we are proud to safeguard these nearly 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But our work doesn’t stop there.

The U.S. Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated Island Communities. The Interior heads eight technical bureaus: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Minerals Management Service, National Park Service, Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S.

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