Conservation in a Changing Climate
Office of External Affairs


Archived Updates

September 2014
July 2014
May 2014

March 2014
January 2014


Tools and Resources

NCTC climate change resources: NCTC is consolidating climate change related training opportunities for FWS staff. The NCTC Climate Change Resource Library also provides selected citations to journal articles, documents, reports, and websites.

Updated digital maps are now available that show changes to Coastal Barrier Resource System in five states.

New Interactive Mapping Tool: The Service recently announced the completion of the National Wetlands Database and interactive mapping tool, that integrates digital map data with other resource information to produce timely and relevant management and decision support tools.

USGS National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV): This Viewer includes the historical and future climate projections from 30 downscaled models for two of the recent emission scenarios used by the IPCC.



Climate Change Update

October 2014


Welcome to the latest issue of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update.

We are pleased to hear that people are benefiting and sharing this publication, and hope you will continue to help us share success stories and examples, access key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.

We are working with the National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service to develop this Update, and welcome your feedback and input. Please contact Christina Meister or Michael Gale to help provide content for future editions.

The President's Priority Agenda

Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources

This month, the President's Priority Agenda (Agenda) for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources was released. This Agenda identifies four priority strategies to make the Nation's natural resources more resilient to a changing climate:

  1. Foster climate resilient lands and waters;
  2. Manage and enhance U.S. carbon sinks;
  3. Enhance community preparedness and resilience by utilizing and sustaining natural resources; and,
  4. Modernizing Federal programs, investments, and delivery of services to build resilience and enhance sequestration of biological carbon.

For each strategy, the Agenda documents significant progress and provides a roadmap for action moving forward. The Agenda was prepared by the President's Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the Natural Resources Working Group, fulfilling one of the charges of Executive Order 13653.

Climate Science Partnership in the Appalachian LCC

Ensuring Climate Resilient Aquatic Communities

Partners of the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) presented the "Riparian Restoration Climate Change Resilience Tool" to the aquatic management and research community at the Annual Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) meeting in early September. The Appalachian LCC funded this innovative riparian planting and decision-support tool and helped to coordinate the demonstration to address the immediate conservation planning efforts of resource managers to safeguard valued aquatic resources under predicted climate changes across the region. The tool works by identifying vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats. By locating the best spots to plant trees in riparian zones, resource managers can provide shade that limits the amount of solar radiation heating the water and reduce the impacts from climate change. Appalachian LCC research is fostering the development and application of decision-support tools and enhancing the usefulness of vital information for managers and decision-makers in support of implementing landscape conservation.

The tool was developed and demonstrated by Keith Nislow and Jason Coombs of the U.S. Forest Service and enhanced through review and input by the EBTJV staff and Science Team.

Access the tool and watch a video demonstration.

International Collaboration Key to Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency

Desert LCC and Southwest Region Work with Mexico

Planning for climate change adaptation takes on a special significance in the Southwest Region, where water resources are extremely limited and precious to both people and wildlife. An area of importance for conserving biodiversity is the Rio Grande-Río Bravo of the U.S. and Mexico where preparing for climate change involves international cooperation. The University of Arizona, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in close coordination with the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, led a binational workshop on September 10-11, to introduce strategic scenario planning techniques to researchers and natural resource managers from the U.S. and Mexico. Hosted by the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), the gathering brought together climatologists, meteorologists, and hydrologists to develop plausible climate scenarios for the area, and to explore ways to improve cross-border preparedness for extreme weather events. In addition, the group initiated conversations about the scientific underpinnings for proposed management actions and their effects on natural resources, and how climate change may influence future management decisions. As the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative advances its efforts related to international landscape conservation planning and design, participants of this workshop will work with the partnership to ensure that climate change considerations are included.

Find more information.

Preparing for Future Storms in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

The North Atlantic LCC is Helping Partners

How will severe storms and sea-level rise from climate change impact streams, beaches, and tidal marshes in the Northeast? The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative is helping partner organizations understand and prepare for future threats to vulnerable systems through three projects funded by the Hurricane Sandy Department of Interior Resiliency Fund that provide science and support.

The Streams project focuses on prioritizing improvements to road-stream crossings to protect human safety and aquatic connectivity in areas of New York and Vermont hit hardest by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Beaches and Tidal Marshes projects focus on decision support, data integration, models and tools to guide actions related to restoration, conservation, and management of these systems.

Read more.

Responding to Future Threats to the Connecticut River Watershed

Partners Craft a Conservation Design

State, federal, and private partners in the North Atlantic LCC-funded Connecticut River Watershed Pilot are creating a blueprint for conservation informed by climate change projections up to the year 2080.

Using maps and models to analyze the needs of regional species and ecosystems, the Pilot's Core Team is identifying areas in the watershed that offer the greatest potential to satisfy long-term conservation goals as part of a contiguous network. The design will be used to guide collective conservation actions within the watershed, and beyond. Ultimately, the Pilot team hopes to create a design process that can be applied to other geographies as part of the regional response to climate change.

Read more.

Spotlight: David Patte

David Patte, Region 1 Climate Change Coordinator, will be retiring from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in November. David has been a leader in the Pacific NW, bringing together the right people, both within the agency and among agencies, to address any given climate change issue at hand. His background in external affairs was invaluable in the climate change arena, facilitating effective communication to engage both Service employees and the general public in a better understanding of how climate change has, is, and will impact our natural resources. We wish David the best as he moves on to the next chapter of his life which may include wine-making. But, we know he will be ever-present in the environmental issues affecting the Pacific NW.

Other Announcements

New Course Announcement: January 15-March 17, 2015

Online "Decision Analysis for Climate Change" NCTC class (ALC 3196) explores climate change in the context of decision analysis. This 10-week online course starts the week of January 15th, 2015 and continues through March 17th, 2015 and highlights principles from Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate (2009) National Research Council Report. During this time, you will work in a team on actual decision problems building expertise in decision analysis and climate change impacts. Participants will work in a Moodle platform for class, using different learning applications such as videos, practice exercises, discussion boards, and literature. Register online at search for ALC 3196

Rural Climate Policy Meeting: Washington, D.C. Dec 15-16, 2014. The meeting will bring Rural Climate Network and other rural leaders together to discuss and create a broad rural climate policy platform. The platform will highlight concerns and rural climate mitigation and adaptation options in the U.S.

PICS Canada Offers Online Climate Courses: Climate Insights 101 is a short course series designed to provide users with an in-depth understanding of climate science and related issues. New courses in 2014 focus on mitigation.

Upcoming Workshops:

ACES Conference: December 8-12, 2014, Washington, D.C. ACES: A Community on Ecosystem Services represents a dynamic and growing assembly of professionals, researchers, and policy makers involved with ecosystem services. The ACES 2014 Conference brings together this community in partnership with Ecosystem Markets and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), providing an open forum to share experiences, methods, and tools, for assessing and incorporating ecosystem services into public and private decisions.

National Adaptation Forum, St. Louis, MO, May 2-15,2015: The National Adaptation Forum is a biennial gathering created by a group of professionals from the private and public sectors concerned about the need to respond to and prepare for the effects of climate change. The Forum represents a collective effort to enhance the resilience of the Nation's communities, resources and economy in the face of a changing climate. Proposals are due November 1, 2014.

Upcoming Climate Change Webinars:

Nov 19 - Making decisions in complex landscapes: Headwater stream management across multiple agencies using structured decision making - An example of cooperative landscape decision-making to address the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change using case studies from two watersheds in the northeastern U.S. (3:30 pmEastern)

Dec 3 - Building Tribal Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation - This webinar will focus on summarizing a 3-day summit held in October 2014, including participants and activities, lessons learned, outcomes, and plans for future Tribal adaptation training. (3:30 pmEastern)



Last updated: December 3, 2014

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