Publications

Implementing climate change adaptation in forested regions of the western United States

Citation

Halofsky, J.E., D.L. Peterson, L.A. Joyce, C.I. Millar, J.M. Rice, and C.W. Swanston. 2016. Implementing climate change adaptation in forested regions of the western United States.  Pages 165-178 in V.A. Sample and R.P. Bixler (eds.), Forest Conservation and Management in the AnthropoceneUniversity Press of Colorado, Boulder.


Abstract

Climate change will likely have significant effects on forest ecosystems worldwide. In Mediterranean regions, such as that in southwestern Oregon, USA, changes will likely be driven mainly by wildfire and drought. To minimize the negative effects of climate change, resource managers require tools and information to assess climate change vulnerabilities and to develop and implement adaptation actions. We developed an approach to facilitate development and implementation of climate change adaptation options in forest management. This approach, applied in a southwestern Oregon study region, involved establishment of a science–manager partnership, a science-based assessment of forest and woodland vulnerabilities to climate change, climate change education in multiple formats, hands-on development of adaptation options, and application of tools to incorporate climate change in planned projects. Through this approach, we improved local manager understanding of the potential effects of climate change in southwestern Oregon, and enabled evaluation of proposed management activities in the context of climatic stressors. Engaging managers throughout the project increased ownership of the process and outcomes, as well as the applicability of the adaptation options to on-the-ground actions. Science–management partnerships can effectively incorporate evolving science, regardless of the socio-political environment, and facilitate timely progress in adaptation to climate change.