Climate Change Preparation Planning on National Landscape Conservation System Lands

The National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) is a collection of BLM lands which are mandated to protect specific resources, including  natural, cultural, geologic, scenic, scientific, and recreational resources, found within their boundaries. Several agencies, including the BLM and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, are mandated by DOI Secretarial Order 3289 to "consider and analyze potential climate change impacts when undertaking long-range planning exercises, setting priorities for scientific research, developing multi-year management plans, and making major decisions about the potential use of resources under the Department's purview."

In preparation for these various efforts, Dr. Marni Koopman, a Geos Institute Climate Change Scientist, analyzed management plans on 14 units of the NLCS to determine whether those lands were being managed for the conservation of fish and wildlife under changing climate scenarios. These findings were published in a report entitled An Assessment of Resource Management Planning in the National Landscape Conservation System, which revealed that little planning for climate change had begun. 

This follow up report, Climate Change Preparation Planning on National Landscape Conservation System Lands: Recommendations for Direction and Approach, provides specific recommendations to Conservation System managers to help them incorporate the consideration of climate change and associated impacts into their planning processes and management strategies. Chapter 2 provides an overview of projected impacts and key stressors for five BLM level III Ecoregions, of which three are indicated as priority areas for adaptation strategies to be developed: Colorado Plateau, Mohave Basin, and Sonoran Desert. Chapter 3 goes back to the 14 NLCS Resource Management Plans evaluated in the first report, and provides an assessment of prescribed actions in terms of whether the action is potentially compatible with climate change adaptation, or incompatible. 


This report was produced by the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy, which is now known as the Geos Institute.  



Publication Date: January 2010

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  • Planning guides

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