Weathering Climate Change: Framing Strategies to Minimize Impacts on Pennsylvania Ecosystems and Wildlife
As an initial effort to inform Pennsylvania’s climate adaptation planning process, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and The Nature Conservancy interviewed stakeholders from state and federal natural resource management agencies, research institutions, and environmental non-profit organizations. The findings from the interviews are presented in this report subtitled: “Perspectives from Conservation Leaders and Experts on Climate Change Adaptation.”
During October and November of 2009, this team conducted interviews across the state with 24 individuals from 16 organizations, including state and federal agencies, non-profit conservation and environmental groups, and research organizations (see Appendix 1 for a list of interviews held). The interviews focused on four issues:
- the importance of climate change impacts to their organization’s mission;
- how their organization is responding to climate change impacts;
- the most important challenges and opportunities for responding to climate change impacts; and
- suggestions for developing statewide adaptation strategies.
In addition to increased data sharing and common standards, those interviewed strongly favored the collaborative development of specific, practical strategies addressing adaptation.
The funding priorities interviewees mentioned overlap to a high degree with the noted data gaps. They reflect the need for collaboration on data collection, research, analysis, modeling, planning, and implementation. Specific priorities included additional research on species’ vulnerability and ability to disperse across the landscape; modeling of climate change scenarios; data sharing and collection standards; collaborative planning for habitat management and protection; and finally, increased outreach to the public on climate change issues.
A final section provides summarized suggestions for key processes that can assist agencies and organizations with adaptation-focused planning. Suggestions provided in the interviews fell into three major categories: fostering communication, identifying practical strategies, and establishing priorities.
Those interviewed recognized both the necessity of integrating adaptation actions into existing organizational plans and the value of strategic planning at a statewide level. Ultimately, a collaborative statewide planning effort can help to generate more cost-effective and competitive proposals for federal and foundation grants to improve natural resource management and wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania.
Publication Date: March 24, 2010
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
- Pennsylvania Game Commission
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Policy analysis/recommendations