Adaptation Services encompasses our work to support natural resource professionals, communities, and motivated landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into planning and on-the-ground action.
The Adaptation Services team delivers information and technical support to natural resource professionals and landowners to address climate change impacts in natural resources management. NIACS has developed a collaborative, cross-boundary approach among scientists, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resource management. Hands-on workshops, seminars, and trainings help participants identify climate vulnerabilities and adapt their management to mitigate the potential impacts of climate change. Adaptation Services activities support the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, part of the national network of regional USDA Climate Hubs, by providing useful resources in the Midwest and Northeast.
LEADING AND FACILITATING EFFORTS TO INFORM THE FOREST SERVICE ADAPTATION PLAN
Our team of adaptation specialists helped to convene four virtual nationwide workshops and three roundtables for tribal partners, nonprofits, and state foresters to inform the development of the USDA Forest Service Climate Adaptation Plan. The workshops brought together over 300 Forest Service staff and numerous other partners from across the country. The USDA Forest Service Climate Adaptation Plan was released in July and highlighted several projects and partnerships convened by NIACS and the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub.
SFI STATE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEES: REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOPS
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification standard introduced new “Climate-Smart Forestry” expectations for certified organizations in 2022. We worked with SFI to demonstrate how our tools and resources can help meet these expectations and facilitated two workshops for members of the SFI State Implementation Committees in the Northeast and Lake States Regions to help identify priority climate change risks and adaptation actions. This regional information will help individual organizations move forward on addressing climate change.
INTEGRATING CLIMATE CHANGE CONSIDERATIONS INTO WILD AND SCENIC RIVER COMPREHENSIVE RIVER MANAGEMENT PLANNING
We worked with Comprehensive River Management Planning teams to evaluate the influence of climate change on seven Wild and Scenic Rivers across the country. We facilitated workshops to evaluate climate impacts on desired conditions, visitor-use strategies, and monitoring plans. Partners included the Forest Service National Wilderness and Wild Scenic Rivers program, Office of Sustainability and Climate, National Forests, and Regional Office staff (Regions 1, 3, 5, and 9).
CLIMATE ADAPTATION FOR FOREST-DEPENDENT WILDLIFE WEBINAR SERIES
We co-hosted a monthly webinar series on Climate Adaptation for Forest-Dependent Wildlife with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forest Ecology Working Group, Science Applications and Migratory Birds Programs, and the National Conservation Training Center. This year-long series explored climate change impacts on forest composition and structure, as well as the influence on wildlife populations and carbon dynamics. Over 1,300 participants registered for the webinar series, which will continue into 2023.
EXPANDING URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY RESOURCES
We released the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment Toolkit for the Puget Sound region this year, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Davey Tree Expert Company, American Forests, and City Forest Credits. We also partnered with American Forests to develop a tree species vulnerability assessment and corresponding handouts for the Boston Region. A University of Massachusetts ‘Urban Forestry Today’ webinar featuring the urban forests and human health adaptation menu attracted over 1,000 participants.
"I continue to be impressed by NIACS’ work! Your products are incredibly accessible for land managers making site-level forest management decisions."
- Emily Peters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
"I feel like practitioners and managers know we need to incorporate climate change into our planning, but don’t necessarily know how to approach it. This was a super useful, structured way to think about climate change on our own units and I’ve already been thinking about how to use this process for some of our wetland projects."
- Whitney Kroschel, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
"I’m thrilled to be included. This has been very energizing. I’ll be going back to my forest planning work with renewed vigor because of this workshop."
- Jenny Rasmussen, USDA Forest Service participant in Climate Adaptation Plan workshop
Next year, our Adaptation Services work will include a variety of projects across our service area. We plan to host workshops and educational events for urban forest managers in Boston and other urban areas and release additional urban forest vulnerability assessments. We will play a leading role in education, training, and engagement with Forest Service staff across Region 9 to promote the USDA Forest Service Climate Adaptation Plan and meet the reporting requirements of the Climate Action Tracker. We will also continue to work with public and private certified organizations to meet new climate change expectations in the SFI and FSC certification standards.