Taking Action: A Progress Report on the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is a framework to support adaptation and conservation of the country’s natural communities over the next five to 10 years (from 2013), based on climate change projections for the next century. The multi-partner strategy outlines a unified approach to maintaining the key terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems needed to sustain fish, wildlife and plant resources under the accelerating impacts of climate change. This Taking Action progress report describes 50 projects that demonstrate implementation of a variety of actions recommended by the Strategy.

As found in the case studies, nationwide the agencies responsible for managing fish, wildlife, and plants are working with partners and stakeholders to address the impacts of climate change. These examples also illustrate the diversity of projects, scales of planning, and a range of partnerships - while demonstrating how climate change impacts can be integrated into conservation planning.

Seven major goals were identified by the Strategy to help fish, wildlife, plants and ecosystems survive the impacts of climate change. These goals also define the seven chapters of the Taking Action report. Concrete adaptation strategies are aligned with each goal, and case studies are incorporated into the report as related to each strategy.

For example, Goal 2 - Manage species and habitats to protect ecosystem functions and provide sustainable cultural, subsistence, recreational, and commercial use in a changing climate - has 3 strategies outlined:

Strategy 2.1: Update current or develop new species, habitat, and land and water management plans, programs and practices to consider climate change and support adaptation.

Strategy 2.2:  Develop and apply species-specific management approaches to address critical climate change impacts where necessary.

Strategy 2.3: Conserve genetic diversity by protecting diverse populations and genetic material across the full range of species occurrences.

Case studies for these strategies include: 

  • Managing Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout under Climate Change
  • Assessing Brook Trout Vulnerability to Inform Management in Wisconsin
  • Planting Future Forests in Northern Minnesota
  • Northwestern Tribal Forest Improvement


The Strategy called for the formation of a coordinating body with representation from federal, state, and tribal governments to meet semi-annually to promote and evaluate implementation of the Strategy, and to report on progress. A Joint Implementation Working Group was formed in 2013, and has supervised the production of this first Progress Report. The working group is led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (on behalf of states more broadly). 


Publication Date: 2014

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  • Best practice
  • Case study
  • Progress report


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