Advancing the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy into a New Decade
More than 90 diverse technical, scientific, and management experts from across the country participated in the development and, in 2012, the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy (Strategy) was published. Designed to “inspire and enable natural resource managers, legislators, and other decision makers to take effective steps towards climate change adaptation over the next five to ten years,” the time has come for the natural resource community to consider the impact of the Strategy, while identifying the necessary evolution of it, to continue to effectively safeguard the Nation’s natural resources in a changing climate. This report is not meant to replace the Strategy, nor be an addendum to it. Rather, the development of this report was intended to take a high-level review of what has changed in the field of climate change adaptation, how the Strategy has or has not been effectively implemented at federal, state, tribal, and nonprofit levels, and provide recommendations for its future update and implementation. This report is split into three parts. Part I briefly describes what has changed in our understanding of climate change and climate adaptation science, as well as how the emerging field of the adaptation practice has grown. Part II cross-walks the Strategy goals with a variety of conservation plans made at federal, state, tribal, and nonprofit levels to assess where and how the Strategy has been implemented or been an influence over the past decade. Finally, Part III summarizes the findings of this report by laying out recommendations. These recommendations include thirteen voluntary management actions designed to highlight and address the needs and challenges of the natural resource community in the new decade.