Volume 11, Issue 1 - January/February 2017
Hands-On Workshops Explore Management for Climate Adaptation
The U.S. Forest Service recently sponsored a two-day workshop in Atlanta, GA, to identify and assess drought adaptation strategies for national forests across the Southeast. In attendance were more than 30 regional experts from the Eastern Threat Center-hosted USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH); the Forest Service Southern Research Station, Southern Region, and Office of Sustainability and Climate Change; and state and federal climate offices who discussed how drought impacts the many benefits derived from forest lands, including species habitat and survival, clean water supply, and recreational activities. Attendees formed working groups to examine management opportunities for improving resilience when coping with drought in the Southeast and to develop a white paper to inform regional and national drought adaptation policies. "This was a well-attended and important workshop, especially when we consider the frequent nature and wide-ranging impacts of droughts across the region and potential for increased drought severity and occurrence in the future," says acting SERCH Coordinator Michael Gavazzi. "The workshop was an important step toward providing land managers with the tools, strategies, and information they’ll need to successfully manage ecosystems for drought adaptation."
Pictured: John Stanturf, Southern Research Station Senior Scientist, discusses the challenges of managing natural resources under the threat of drought and wildfire. Photo by Mary Long, U.S. Forest Service.
The Forest Service Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science recently led a day-long adaptation workshop at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida--home to the most old-growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in the world. Much of the base is actively managed to maintain longleaf pine savannahs and associated rare, threatened, and endangered species. The workshop provided learning opportunities for participants through presentations, including Gavazzi's “Potential Climate Change Impacts on Natural Resources in the Southeast U.S." Workshop participants also worked in groups to develop adaptation strategies specific to their natural resource concerns. “This was a very impactful workshop, and participants enjoyed working out solutions to threats they face while managing these highly diverse ecosystems,” says Gavazzi.
Pictured: Staff Sergeant James Merritt, Weather Forecaster with the Eglin Air Force Base 96th Weather Squadron, presents adaptation strategies that his working group developed to better inform natural resource management decisions in the face of ongoing and projected sea level rise. Photo by Michael Gavazzi, U.S. Forest Service.