~ Develop & Implement Adaptive Management Strategies

Adaptive management plays an important role for decision makers looking to overcome the inherent uncertainty of climate change. It is an iterative process, whereby decision makers test hypotheses through monitoring and adjust decisions and actions based on experience and actual changes in order to improve management. This process can either be active (testing multiple options at once to determine the best course of action) or passive (implementing one option and monitoring to determine if adjustments need to be made).

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (APIS) in Wisconsin is integrating climate change throughout its planning and operations. APIS became a member of the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program in March 2008 and is integrating the overall National Park Service Climate Change Response Strategy190 into sustainability efforts on site. In addition, climate change has recently been added to the APIS General Management Plan, which acts as a guide for park managers to use while making decisions about resource protection, visitor experience and education, and facility development within the park’s boundaries. The climate change addition to the plan calls for park staff to use an adaptive management approach in addressing climate change on park lands and to engage in scientific studies and inventories to support decision making.191

The International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) was established to identify and evaluate potential improvements to outflow regulation of Lake Superior and resulting impacts on water flows, water levels, and associated resources in the Great Lakes region. As part of the plan of study, climate change scenarios and adaptive management will be used to test different regulation techniques. The uncertainty about climate-induced lake level changes in the Great Lakes motivated the IUGLS Study Board to create an Adaptive Management Group to assess vulnerabilities to extreme water levels, identify and address uncertainty, encourage flexible decision making, and seek support for a post-study, long-term monitoring program.192

190 Gregg, R.M. (2010). Planning for Climate Change in the National Park Service [Case study on a project of the National Park Service]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/2759 (Last updated December 2010)

191 Gregg, R. M. (2012). Integrating Climate Change into the Planning and Operations of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin [Case study on a project of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program (Last updated October 2012)

192 Gregg, R. M. (2012). Addressing Climate Change in the International Upper Great Lakes Study [Case study on a project of the International Joint Commission]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program (Last updated October 2012)