Adaptation strategies and approaches for forested watersheds

P. Danielle Shannon, Christopher W. Swanston, Maria K. Janowiak, Stephen D. Handler, Kristen M. Schmitt, Leslie A.Brandt, Patricia R.Butler-Leopold. Todd Ontl
Created: 10/30/2020 -

Abstract

Intentional climate adaptation planning for ecosystems has become a necessary part of the job for natural resource managers and natural resource professionals in this era of non-stationarity. One of the major challenges in adapting ecosystems to climate change is in the translation of broad adaptation concepts to specific, tangible actions. Addressing management goals and values while considering the long-term risks associated with local climate change can make forested watershed management plans more robust to uncertainty and changing conditions. We provide a menu of tiered adaptation strategies, which we developed with a focus on forests of the Midwest and Northeastern U.S., as part of a flexible framework to support the integration of climate change considerations into forested watershed management and conservation activities. This menu encapsulates ideas from the literature into statements that signify climate adaptation intention and provide examples of associated tactics to help ground the concepts in specific actions. Finally, we describe two demonstration projects, shared through the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science’s Climate Change Response Framework, that have used this Forested Watershed Adaptation Menu and Adaptation Workbook in project-level planning.

Published On

Organization(s)

The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) has been designed as a collaborative effort among the Forest Service, universities, and forest industry to provide information on managing forests for climate change adaptation, enhanced carbon sequestration, and sustainable production of bioenergy and materials.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a Federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the purpose of the Forest Service—"to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."

Keywords

Adaptation Phase
Planning
Implementation
Sector Addressed
Forestry
Water Resources
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Erosion
Flooding
Flow patterns
Infrastructure damage
Lake level
Landslides
Snowpack
Storms or extreme weather events
Water quality
Water supply
Water temperature
Habitat/Biome Type
Freshwater
Lakes and Ponds
Rivers and Streams
Riparian
Marsh
Mudflat
Swamp
Wetland
Forest
Sociopolitical Setting
Rural