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Linda Nagel, Michigan Technological University, lmnagel@mtu.edu (Presenter)
Christopher Swanston, USDA Forest Service, cswanston@fs.fed.us
Maria Janowiak, USDA Forest Service, mjanowiak02@fs.fed.us
Matthew Powers, , mdpowers@mtu.edu

 

As a pervasive driver of ecosystem change and uncertainty regarding future conditions, climate change represents a significant threat to many critical ecosystem functions. The dynamic and uncertain nature of climate change also adds complexity to forest management planning activities that depend on reliable estimates of future conditions to guide current management practices. Forest managers need conceptual processes that address the challenges of sustainable natural resource management in a changing climate. Climate change adaptation begins with existing management goals and objectives. Decision-making processes built on principles of adaptive management can help managers assess potential climate-related challenges to their goals and objectives, evaluate the feasibility of existing objectives in the context of climate change, diagnose the need for climate change adaptation efforts, prescribe appropriate treatments, and use monitoring efforts to evaluate treatment effectiveness and gauge the need to adjust management over time. We will provide an overview of this process and briefly describe case studies that illustrate the successful application of these principles to management projects at varying scales. Additionally, we will describe an adaptive silviculture project that is building science-management partnerships to guide managers through the process of developing site-specific, objectives-driven climate change adaptation treatments while simultaneously establishing the framework for a long-term study of responses to several common climate change adaptation options in a variety of forest types across the United States.