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Adaptation strategies and approaches for managing fire in a changing climate

April 8, 2022
As the effects of climate change accumulate and intensify, resource managers juggle existing goals and new mandates to operationalize adaptation. Fire managers contend with the direct effects of climate change on resources in addition to climate-induced disruptions to fire regimes and subsequent ecosystem effects. In systems stressed by warming and drying, increased fire activity amplifies the pace of change and scale of severe disturbance events, heightening the urgency for management action. Fire managers are asked to integrate information on climate impacts with their professional expertise to determine how to achieve management objectives in a changing climate with altered fire regimes. This is a difficult task, and managers need support as they incorporate climate adaptation into planning and operations. We present a list of adaptation strategies and approaches specific to fire and climate based on co-produced knowledge from a science–management partnership and pilot-tested in a two-day workshop with natural resource managers and regional stakeholders. This “menu” is a flexible and useful tool for fire managers who need to connect the dots between fire ecology, climate science, adaptation intent, and management implementation. It was created and tested as part of an adaptation framework used widely across the United States and should be applicable and useful in many fire-prone forest ecosystems.
Publication Year 2022
Title Adaptation strategies and approaches for managing fire in a changing climate
DOI 10.3390/cli10040058
Authors Martha Sample, Andrea E. Thode, Courtney Peterson, Michael Gallagher, William T. Flatley, Megan Friggens, Alexander Evans, Rachel A. Loehman, Shaula Hedwall, Leslie A. Brandt, Maria Janowiak, Christopher W. Swanston
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Climate
Index ID 70231611
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center Water