A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Aquatic Resources in the Tongass National Forest

Posted on: 12/20/2018 - Updated on: 7/18/2023

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This vulnerability assessment is an initial science-based effort to identify how and why important resources (snow, ice, and water features; riparian vegetation; fish species) across the Tongass National Forest are likely to be affected by both non-climate stressors and future climate conditions. In this assessment, vulnerability is a function of the sensitivity of the resource to climate and non-climate stressors, its anticipated exposure to climatic changes, and its capacity to adapt to or cope with changes. Specifically, sensitivity is defined as a measure of whether and how a resource is likely to be affected by a given change in climate, or factors driven by climate; exposure is defined as the degree of change in climatic factors a resource is likely to experience; and adaptive capacity is defined as the ability of a resource to accommodate or cope with climate change impacts with minimal disruption (Glick et al. 2011).  The goal of this vulnerability assessment is to help resource managers plan their management of snow, ice, and water features, riparian vegetation, and fish species in light of a changing climate. Specifically, this information can help identify management actions and responses and facilitate priority setting of those responses. The analyses and conclusions contained within this assessment are based on available information and expert opinion.


EcoAdapt. 2014. A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Aquatic Resources in the Tongass National Forest. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.

Affiliated Organizations

EcoAdapt is at the center of climate change adaptation innovation. We provide support, training, and assistance to make conservation and management less vulnerable and more Climate Savvy. Over the past 200 years, great strides have been made in the world of conservation and now all of that is at risk because of climate change. EcoAdapt is working to ensure the success of these past efforts by delivering a framework for climate adaptation.

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."


Document Type
Adaptation Phase
Habitat/Biome Type
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy

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