Friday, January 20, 2012

Book guides forest management in face of climate change

Teton Valley News: Resource managers at the nation's 155 national forests now have a set of science-based guidelines to help them manage their landscapes for resilience to climate change. Developed by the Forest Service's western research stations, the four-part framework details a practical and credible management approach, grounded in strong partnerships between local resource managers and scientists, that will help national forests meet their management mandate, said Yasmeen Sands, a spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service.

The guidelines are published in Responding to Climate Change on National Forests: A Guidebook for Developing Adaptation Options, a new report published by the PNRS. "This guide lays out an important foundation and provides useful, real-life examples to help managers and citizens build their climate-smart adaptive capacity," said David Cleaves, the Forest Service's climate change advisor. "It will be an important source for practices and tools for enhancing the future of our Nation's forests."

...Forests use an annual performance "scorecard" to outline specific goals and objectives and to document their success in meeting the framework's direction. The new adaptation guidelines support this process by providing managers with specific information about decision tools, models, and planning instruments and by offering guidance on setting priorities, assessing resource vulnerabilities, and developing goals.

Central to the guidelines are four steps - reviewing, ranking, resolving, and observing - that managers can follow to localize climate change science, evaluate sensitivity of specific natural resources, develop adaptation options, and monitor their effectiveness, Sands said. This approach makes the guidebook flexible enough to apply to all national forests, regardless of which ecosystems they contain or what their management priorities are....

The Columbia River Gorge, at the southern edge of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington, shot by Roger Peterson, US Forest Service


furniss said...

How about a link to the actual document??

Brian Thomas said...

Good point, though I tend to leave out the links so that people have a reason to visit the original. Maybe it's an absurd scruple. At any rate, the guidebook is available online at and in print by request. Printed copies can be requested by emailing or calling (503) 261-1211 and referencing "PNW-GTR-855."