Climate, the Boreal Forest, and Moose: A Pilot Project for Scenario Planning to Inform Land and Wildlife Management

Science Center Objects

Scenario planning is one decision support method that can help natural resource managers incorporate information about uncertain future changes in climate into management decisions. To provide a proof of concept of the value of scenario planning in helping managers prepare for climate change, we conducted a pilot scenario planning effort aimed at helping state agencies in the northeastern Unite...

Scenario planning is one decision support method that can help natural resource managers incorporate information about uncertain future changes in climate into management decisions. To provide a proof of concept of the value of scenario planning in helping managers prepare for climate change, we conducted a pilot scenario planning effort aimed at helping state agencies in the northeastern United States develop climate-informed moose management goals and actions.



To encourage participation by wildlife managers, we provided several opportunities for them to learn about scenario planning and examples of its application in natural resource management. We shared this information via guidance documents on incorporating climate change into State Wildlife Action Plans, organized sessions at professional conferences, on-line presentations, periodic project newsletters, and small group meetings with state wildlife managers. These educational efforts reached well over 50 managers across the northeast and other parts of the country, and were successful in building interest in scenario planning. In September 2016, we partnered with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY-DEC) to lead a 1-day scenario planning exercise focused on setting goals and objectives for a state-wide moose management plan. WCS then worked closely with scientists at the Northeast Climate Science Center to develop a set of future climate scenarios that are directly relevant to examining how the draft moose populations goals and objectives developed during the first workshop might hold up under different scenarios of climate change. These scenarios will be used by NY-DEC in Spring 2017 when they take their next steps to prepare a moose management plan for the state.



Results from this pilot project are being incorporated into a manuscript that will describe several recent uses of scenario planning by natural resource managers, and how lessons learned can help refine future uses of scenario planning for climate-informed wildlife management