Climate Adaptation Science Centers

CASC Partnerships with State Agencies

As some of the major drivers of on-the-ground natural resource management in the United States and its affiliated islands, state and territory fish and wildlife agencies are key stakeholder groups for the CASC network. CASCs work with agencies across the country to support many aspects of climate-informed management practices. 

State Agencies are Key Stakeholders for CASC Network 

State natural resource management agencies are responsible for the management and conservation of lands, wildlife, and waters across the country, and their priorities and strategic decisions directly translate into on-the-ground actions. The CASC network recognizes state agencies as critical partners and users of our science and as key stakeholders in need of understandable, up-to-date climate change information. Through the CASCs’ actionable science model, we work closely with state agencies across the country to provide climate-informed information, research, and tools that contribute to management decisions and actions.  

The CASC network works iteratively with state resource agencies to help fulfill diverse needs, including by: 

  • Partnering with state agencies to investigate salient research questions. In an initiative supported by the National and South Central CASCs, scientists worked closely with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to explore the effects of drought and invasive species on the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, informing native trout conservation efforts being carried out by Colorado and New Mexico. 

  • Providing wildlife, habitat, and climate change information to inform decision making processes. The Northeast CASC worked with the Massachusetts Climate Adaptation Partnership to develop the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool, an online tool designed to help resource agencies access information on climate change impacts and species vulnerabilities within the state and explore adaptation strategies and actions. 

  • Identifying and filling knowledge gaps to inform management and strategic decisions. The Northwest, South Central, and North Central CASCs funded an initiative to understand the success of sagebrush steppe recovery efforts after wildfires, a critical knowledge gap identified by the DOI Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy, the BLM Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Program, and state management agencies in the West.  

  • Providing tools and technical expertise to facilitate climate-informed decision making. The North Central CASC supports climate adaptation workshops for state agencies across the region, such as a recent workshop with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, facilitated by North Central CASC consortium member the Wildlife Conservation Society.  

Example: CASCs Support State Wildlife Action Plans 

State and territory fish and wildlife management agencies develop State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) to be eligible for specific grants through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. SWAPs serve as blueprints for conservation by helping state agencies proactively work to conserve wildlife and must be updated and reviewed every ten years. SWAPs contain eight required elements, including identifying the distribution and abundance of species and habitats within the state or territory and describing the problems and threats that may adversely affect these resources.  

Many states have identified climate change as a potential threat to their ecosystems. The CASC network works closely with state agencies across the country to support efforts to integrate climate information into SWAP planning efforts. These efforts include: 

  • Creating spaces and resources to help state agencies share information with each other and with other management, conservation, and stakeholder groups. 

  • Providing data, training, and tools to help understand current and future climate conditions and the effects of these conditions on wildlife and habitats. 

  • Building capacity by facilitating climate-informed planning activities, such as climate scenario planning workshops, and creating tools to aid decision making. 

Learn more about how CASCs support SWAPs across the country. 

 

Interested in partnering? Contact us! 

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