Outdoor Recreation Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Approaches

O’Toole, D.; Brandt, L.A.; Janowiak, M.K.; Schmitt, K.M.; Shannon, P.D.; Leopold, P.R.; Handler, S.D.; Ontl, T.A.; Swanston, C.W.
Created: 10/30/2020 -

Abstract

Climate change will alter opportunities and demand for outdoor recreation through altered winter weather conditions and season length, climate-driven changes in user preferences, and damage to recreational infrastructure, among other factors. To ensure that outdoor recreation remains sustainable in the face of these challenges, natural resource managers may need to adapt their recreation management. One of the major challenges of adapting recreation to climate change is translating broad concepts into specific, tangible actions. Using a combination of in-depth interviews of recreational managers and a review of peer-reviewed literature and government reports, we developed a synthesis of impacts, strategies, and approaches, and a tiered structure that organizes this information. Six broad climate adaptation strategies and 25 more specific approaches were identified and organized into a “recreation menu”. The recreation menu was tested with two national forests in the US in multi-day workshops designed to integrate these concepts into real-world projects that were at the beginning stages of the planning process. We found that the recreation menu was broad yet specific enough to be applied to recreation-focused projects with different objectives and climate change impacts. These strategies and approaches serve as stepping stones to enable natural resource and recreation managers to translate broad concepts into targeted and prescriptive actions for implementing adaptation. View Full-Text

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Organization(s)

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."

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.

Keywords

Adaptation Phase
Planning
Implementation
Sector Addressed
Forestry
Tourism / Recreation
Transportation / Infrastructure
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Culture / communities
Infrastructure damage
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Tourism
Sociopolitical Setting
Rural

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