Assessing vulnerabilities and adapting to climate change in northwestern U.S. forests

Halofsky, J.E., Peterson, D.L. and Prendeville, H.R., 2017. Assessing vulnerabilities and adapting to climate change in northwestern US forests. Climatic Change, pp.1-14.
Year Published

Multiple climate change vulnerability assessments in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA provide the scientific information needed to begin adaptation in forested landscapes. Adaptation options developed by resource managers in conjunction with these assessments, newly summarized in the Climate Change Adaptation Library of the Western United States, provide an extensive choice of peer-reviewed climate-smart management strategies and tactics. More adaptation options are available for vegetation than for any other resource category, allowing vegetation management to be applied across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Good progress has been made in strategic development and planning for climate change adaptation in the Northwest, although on-the-ground implementation is in the early stages. However, recent regulatory mandates plus the increasing occurrence of extreme events (drought, wildfires, insect outbreaks) provide motivation to accelerate the adaptation process in planning and management on federal lands and beyond. Timely implementation of adaptation and collaboration across boundaries will help ensure the functionality of Northwest forests at broad spatial scales in a warmer climate.