The Changing Role of US Forest Management in Response to Climate Change

December 1, 2009 at 10:24 AM Leave a comment

A new direction for the US Forest Service

In a memo sent on November 20, US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told his regional offices and station directors that “responding to the challenges of climate change in providing water and water-related ecosystem services is one of the most urgent tasks facing us as an agency. History will judge us by how well we respond to these challenges.” Referring to how the challenge will alter future forestry management, Tidwell said that  “Climate change is dramatically reshaping how we will deliver on our mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands for present and future generations.”

US Forest

Tidwell’s memo follows up on the strategic framework for responding to climate change released last month, and seeks to integrate that framework into the agency’s day-to-day operations. Tidwell has proposed dividing the country into five planning regions, asking his managers and area directors to work together to create “aggressive and well-coordinated” area-specific action plans for landscape conservation.

Much of the planning work is already underway, but Tidwell is urging his agency to expand their work into “full blown regions, stations and area action plans” addressing water as “fundamental outcome set.”

“The plans should seize opportunities to integrate activities and be innovative,” Tidwell wrote in his email. “They should become blueprints for integrating climate change and watershed management. They should use climate change as a theme under which to integrate and streamline existing national and regional strategies for ecological restoration, fire and fuels, forest health, biomass utilization, and others.”

Tidwell also intends on naming a “climate change executive” to oversee implementation of the strategic framework through the action plans.

For full story click HERE

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Entry filed under: Climate Change, Conservation, Green Help, National News, US. Tags: , , .

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