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Tom DeMeo Regional Ecologist Acting Climate Change Coordinator Climate Change Strategy for the Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service.

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Presentation on theme: "Tom DeMeo Regional Ecologist Acting Climate Change Coordinator Climate Change Strategy for the Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tom DeMeo Regional Ecologist Acting Climate Change Coordinator Climate Change Strategy for the Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service

2 USDA Strategic Plan Strategic Goal 2 – Ensure our national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while enhancing our water resources. Objective 2.2 – Lead efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change Performance measure Percent of National Forests in compliance with a climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy.

3 National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change USDA Forest Service July 2010

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5 Agency Capacity 1.Employee education 2.Designated climate change coordinators 3.Develop program guidelines and training Partnership and Education 4.Integrate science and management 5.Develop partnerships Adaptation 6.Assess Vulnerability 7.Set Priorities 8.Monitor Change Mitigation and Sustainable Consumption 9.Assess and manage carbon 10.Reduce environmental footprint USFS Response to Climate Change

6 Regional strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Vulnerability assessment Adaptation strategy Monitoring Guidance to field Collaboration Sustainable Operations

7 Strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Survey: 42% of Forest Service employees either dont believe the climate is changing, or that there is nothing we can do about it This probably reflects views of the general public

8 Strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Social science tells us: 1. Public is arrayed in groups from urgent action needed toactive opposition 2. You can influence the groups in the middle 3. Environment is never a top issue with the public at large 4. Interest in the climate change issue waxes and wanes (Credit: Suzanne Moser, consultant)

9 Strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Social science tells us DONT 1. Scare people. They will give up. 2. Think providing more information is sufficient (the information deficit paradigm). People receive information through cultural, political, and experience filters. Dont underestimate how strong these are.

10 Strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Social science tells us DO 1. Embrace reasonable hope 2. Move the discussion away from them, there, then to us, here, now 2. Show people a reasonable pathway to success

11 Strategy with seven major points: Improving climate change awareness and literacy Examples of reasonable hope: Consider recycling, hybrid cars, organic gardening, reusable grocery bags, and the local food movement Not so long ago all these were considered fringe ideas; now they are mainstream. Practical education and incentives brought this about.

12 Strategy with seven major points: Reasonable hope for climate change: 1. Show people they can save money. Example: home solar panels in Oregon 2. Show the numbers for carbon saved by using local food 3. Show how land use laws improve their quality of life ….Making it us, here, now

13 Strategy with seven major points: Vulnerability assessment Adaptation strategy Monitoring Vulnerability of Current Landscapes (5th Field HUCs) Departure from Historic Range of Variation (HRV) Existing Vegetation Condition Seral Stages by Potential Vegetation Type FRCC Disturbance Fire Frequency and Severity Insects and Disease Invasives Fire Vulnerability Assessment Wildlife Population Vulnerability Fragmentation AnalysisForested Patch SizeGIS analysis?

14 Strategy with seven major points: Vulnerability assessment --Development underway --Interim products by the spring of Final products in the fall of 2011

15 Strategy with seven major points: Vulnerability assessment --Terrestrial --Aquatic --Socio-economic

16 Vulnerability of Current Landscapes (5th Field HUCs) Departure from Historic Range of Variation (HRV) Existing Vegetation Condition Seral Stages by Potential Vegetation Type FRCC Disturbance Fire Frequency and Severity Insects and Disease Invasives Fire Vulnerability Assessment Wildlife Population Vulnerability Fragmentation AnalysisForested Patch SizeGIS analysis? DRAFT Terrestrial

17 Climate-Informed Vegetation Vulnerability Climate-Induced Vegetation Shifts Neilson, USGS Models, Veg Synthesis Climate-Informed Wildlife Population Vulnerability Species Ability to Adapt Data source

18 By Subregion: Current threats to these ecosystems identified Special Habitats: Alpine Whitepark pine Meadows Shrub-steppe Aubry-Erickson assessment method

19 Vegetation Vulnerability Special Habitat Condition Alpine Whitepark pine Meadows Shrub-steppe Departure from HRV Alpine Whitepark pine Meadows Shrub-steppe DisturbanceExisting Vegetation

20 Climate- Informed Special Habitat Condition Predicted Vegetation Shifts Neilson, USGS Models, Veg Synthesis

21 Strategy with seven major points: Adaptation strategy Monitoring --Following the vulnerability assessment, develop these two together --Will probably involve expert panels

22 Strategy with seven major points: Adaptation strategy The best adaptation strategy is a well-thought out and defensible restoration strategy --Need (active or passive) --Efficacy --Public support

23 Strategy with seven major points: Guidance to field --Field wants to know: - What do we do about climate change? - Show us the game plan.

24 Strategy with seven major points: Guidance to field --Whats the plan? --Carbon accounting --Vulnerability assessment --Restoration priorities

25 Above Ground Carbon - Oregon Above Ground Carbon -- Oregon

26 Summary of carbon by ecoregion and vegetation type 5 to 7 times as much potential carbon per unit area fixed on the westside versus eastside forests Data from Beverly Law and students, College of Forestry, Oregon State University Large potential to sequester more carbon than is currently there The C density in PNW OG forests is equivalent to tropical rainforest levels 5 – 7 Summary of carbon by ecoregion and vegetation type uch potential carbon per unit area fixed on the westside versus the eastside forests

27 Strategy with seven major points: Collaboration --Necessary but not sufficient --Moving beyond talk to specific projects can be difficult --People protect their interests; reduce anxieties --Be specific about what you are asking them to contribute, and what they will gain

28 Strategy with seven major points: Sustainable Operations --Reducing fleet fuel use, more energy-efficient buildings, teleconferences.

29 Any mule can kick a barn down, but only a carpenter can build one. --Sam Rayburn


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