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The National Park Service highlights North Central CASC-supported research that synthesized best practices for climate change scenario planning and streamlined the process to make it more accessible to resource managers.

Although climate change is often perceived as solely a problem of the future, the impacts are happening and being felt now and will continue to extend into the future. However, not knowing exactly when, or how, climate change will affect a particular resource, makes it challenging to plan for climate change impacts.  

In the face of uncertainty, scenario planning allows resource managers to plan for a wide range of possible future changes. A recent article from the National Park Service explains how North Central CASC-supported research provided best practices for using scenario planning in the National Parks system, streamlining the process for park managers. Traditional planning tends to assume that future ecosystems will resemble the past, leading managers to more narrowly plan for just one expected future. However, through scenario planning, managers can better anticipate the many ways climate change could affect the resources they manage in the future and be prepared with an assortment of options to respond.  

This work provides on-the-ground examples of scenario planning used in the national park so that managers can reference and build upon previous strategies as they encounter new management challenges. 

This work is supported by the North Central CASC project, “Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning”. 

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