Adapting Sustainable Forest Management to Climate Change: A Systematic Approach for Exploring Organizational Readiness

Any organization planning to proactively manage for climate change effects needs a game plan. A crucial first step is to identify the strengths and capabilities, along with weaknesses and gaps, that will affect the organization’s readiness to respond to the challenges of climate change. The organizational readiness of any business or other entity is based on its own combination of institutional structure and function, financial resources, acquisition and use of information, know-how, and adaptive decision making. Given that Canada is an ecologically diverse, multijurisdictional country, a single prescriptive approach to evaluating organizational readiness to address climate change is impossible. This report describes a systematic approach that practitioners can use to develop and answer a specific suite of questions that will in turn help them to assess their respective organizations’ readiness to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Adapting Sustainable Forest Management to Climate Change: Preparing for the Future

Climate change is an unprecedented issue in modern times, posing a number of challenges to sustainable forest management (SFM) in Canada. These challenges include how best to plan and adapt for an uncertain future. The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) has recognized the need to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities that climate change presents for Canada’s forests and forest sector and has therefore initiated collaborative, interjurisdictional work on adaptation in forestry. This report briefly characterizes the issue of climate change as it relates to SFM in Canada and outlines the importance and benefits of adaptation for Canada’s forest sector. Additionally, it presents the CCFM approach for adapting SFM to a changing climate and summarizes a suite of tools and products that the CCFM has developed to enhance the capacity of the Canadian forest sector to adapt to climatic changes.

Coastal Adaptation Strategies: Case Studies

Innovative and unique solutions are being devised throughout the national park system to adapt to climate change in coastal parks. The 24 case studies in this document describe efforts at national park units in a variety of settings to prepare for and respond to climate change impacts that can take the form of either an event or a trend. Examples of these impacts include increased storminess, sea level rise, shoreline erosion, melting sea ice and permafrost, ocean acidification, warming temperatures, groundwater inundation, precipitation, and drought. The adaptation efforts described here include historic structure preservation, archeological surveys, baseline data collection and documentation, habitat restoration, engineering solutions, redesign and relocation of infrastructure, and development of broad management plans that consider climate change. Each case study also includes a point of contact for park managers to request additional information and insight.

These case studies initially were developed by park managers as part of a NPS-led coastal adaptation to climate change training hosted by Western Carolina University in May 2012. The case studies format follows the format created for EcoAdapt’s Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) database that identified a list of adaptation strategies. All case studies were updated and modified in September 2013 and March 2015 in response to a growing number of requests from coastal parks and other coastal management agencies looking for examples of climate change adaptation strategies for natural and cultural resources and assets along their ocean, lacustrine, and riverine coasts. 

Developing Sustainable Visitor Facilities, Everglades National Park, Florida

Location

United States
25° 18' 37.8396" N, 81° 0' 7.9092" W
US
Author Name(s): 
Fred Herling
Summary: 

Visitor facilities in the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park in Florida were destroyed by two hurricanes in 2005. Incorporating climate change sustainability into the redevelopment plan has required extensive data gathering efforts and public engagement. 

Restoring the Giacomini Wetlands from Agricultural Lands, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Location

United States
38° 5' 17.7756" N, 122° 49' 56.5824" W
US
Author Name(s): 
Lorraine Parsons and Sarah Allen
Summary: 

Point Reyes National Seashore developed the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project to restore tidal wetlands from diked agricultural lands. Restoration efforts were accomplished through subgoals to engage the public, manage public access, protect pre- and post-project habitats for multiple listed species, build in resilience to accommodate for potential climate change effects, and adaptively monitor effectiveness of management actions. 

Recognizing Coral Adaptations to Environmental Stressors, National Park of American Samoa

Location

AS
United States
14° 14' 52.7064" S, 170° 40' 22.0044" W
American Samoa US
Author Name(s): 
Tim Clark
Summary: 

Ofu Lagoon, part of the National Park of American Samoa, contains a healthy coral reef habitat that supports a diversity of species. The park is working with university partners towards the goal of understanding the unique adaptations of the coral in Ofu Lagoon to multiple environmental stressors associated with climate change.

Lighthouse Stabilization Design Incorporates Sea Level Rise, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia

Location

United States
32° 1' 22.08" N, 80° 52' 56.406" W
US
Author Name(s): 
Mike Eissenberg
Summary: 

The goal of this project was to develop a plan to stabilize a historic lighthouse at Fort Pulaski National Monument in a way that considered expected sea level rise and related impacts.

Eroding Shoreline Threatens Historic Peale Island Cabin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Location

United States
44° 25' 52.8492" N, 110° 22' 12.2484" W
US
Author Name(s): 
Rebecca Beavers, Courtney Schupp, Ian Slayton, Maria Caffrey
Summary: 

Yellowstone National Park collaborated with the National Park Service Geologic Resources Division (NPS GRD) to examine the causes of shoreline erosion on Peale Island and to identify adaptation options for protecting the shoreline and a historic cabin on the island. 

Strategic Planning and Responsible Investments for Threatened Historic Structures, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Location

United States
24° 37' 42.5172" N, 82° 52' 23.4732" W
US
Author Name(s): 
Dan Kimball, Marcy Rockman, and Kelly Clark
Summary: 

Sea level rise and increased tropical storm intensity pose a serious risk to the long-term sustainability of historic Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida. The park is trying to mitigate these effects over time through strategic planning, informed decision making, and responsible investments that consider historical integrity and long-term sustainability of the fort and island on which it was built. 

Shell Mound Sites Threatened by Sea Level Rise and Erosion, Canaveral National Seashore, Florida

Location

32168 New Smyrna Beach , FL
United States
29° 1' 32.9484" N, 80° 55' 37.1928" W
Florida US
Author Name(s): 
Margo Schwadron
Summary: 

Canaveral National Seashore contains several of the largest, most intact, and most significant prehistoric shell mounds in North America. Four of these mounds are threatened by erosion induced by sea level rise and increased storm activities.