Adapting to Climate Change at Olympic National Forests: Olympic National Park

From the US Forest Service (USFS) Pacific Northwest Research Station, this technical report details a case study determining how to adapt federal land management practices to climate change on the Olympic Peninsula. In collaboration with the Olympic National Park, the Olympic Climate Change Case Study was conducted at Olympic National Forest and involved sensitivity assessments, reviews of management activities and constraints, and focus-area adaptation workshops.

Analyzing the region’s projected climate impacts and institutional capacity to manage those impacts, the study provided a comprehensive assessment of regional climate vulnerability. The workshops directly engaged scientists and managers in developing science-based adaptation priorities and strategies.

The report is composed of eight chapters, with four providing regional background and climate predictions, and four on climate impacts and strategies for specific management areas: hydrology and roads, fish, vegetation, wildlife. Each management chapter includes an overview of potential climate effects on that management area, adaptation options and strategies, and critical factors to prioritize.  

The more than 75 adaptation strategies in the report are organized in tables and paired with the current and expected climate vulnerabilities they address. Some example strategies include: relocating segments of roadway; controlling invasive fish species; tree gene conservation; and considering allowing fires to burn more frequently.

As part of the USFS WestWide Climate Change Initiative, this is one of three parallel studies on national forests and parks. These case studies can be used as a model of collaboration between federal land management units for national forests, national parks, and natural resource agencies. 


Publication Date: August 2011

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  • Assessment
  • Case study

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