Climate Change Response Framework

The Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF) is a collaborative, cross-boundary approach among scientists, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resources management.


There is no single solution for how natural resources managers and landowners should adapt to climate change. Every manager and landowner has different goals and information needs, as well as a range of tolerances for risk. Through the CCRF, we work side-by-side with people across the land management community to help them consider how climate change may affect their lands and how they can meet their goals while responding to changing conditions.

The CCRF uses the best available science to advance climate change adaptation through four interrelated efforts: Partnerships, Vulnerability Assessments, Adaptation Resources, and Adaptation Demonstrations.



The CCRF is expanding our toolkit to support a broader array of stakeholders as more land managers and landowners are requesting information on how to adapt to change. 

Vulnerability Assessments

We published two climate change vulnerability assessments focused on smaller landscapes than our regional assessments. We worked with partners to complete assessments for the ecosystems of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (WI) and forests of the Austin (TX) metro area, and another assessment for Detroit (MI) is underway. NIACS also produced a series of handouts designed to help private landowners assess risk and consider adaptation actions on their own lands (NY, MI, MN, WI).

training exercise, post-its on wall

Adaptation Resources and Demonstrations

NIACS published two new “menus” of adaptation strategies: one focused on forest carbon management and another on outdoor recreation. These menus provide tiered compilations of adaptation actions that help managers move from broad ideas to specific actions, and also express the adaptation intent of these actions. Additional menus are in preparation for other topics, such as coastal ecosystems, fire-adapted ecosystems, grasslands, and wildlife management. 

NIACS staff worked closely with many agency partners over the past year, including all 15 regional National Forest System units. We are supporting the Wayne National Forest in integrating climate change into its forest plan revision.


We increased our attention to virtual and online education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NIACS hosted three online sessions of the popular Adaptation Planning and Practices workshops and moved several other events online.  Prior to the pandemic, we hosted in-person adaptation workshops focused on tribal perspectives, wildfire management, and other topics.  

"I wanted to share my gratitude to you and the other instructors for a fabulous [APPO] program! I can’t even imagine the work that goes into putting together such a top-notch program. And to make it free of charge for natural resource professionals to take was so generous!"

- Michele Grzenda, Weston Massachusetts Conservation Administrator




The CCRF will continue expanding and providing resources for a broader array of topics that relate to natural resource management. New adaptation menus are in preparation for fire-adapted ecosystems, wildlife management, and oceanic and freshwater coastal ecosystems. We are also working more deeply with partners on important projects, including developing a Climate & Health Action Guide with American Forests and an infrastructure assessment for the Mark Twain National Forest. We will continue to find ways to reach our target audiences and work with partners through online and virtual formats. 


2020 Fast Facts

Hundreds of partners - federal, tribal, state, and private

10 Adaptation Planning and Practices trainings

10 states worked with NIACS to include climate change information into their 2020 State Forest Action Plans

350+ demonstration projects