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Forest conservation in the Anthropocene: The next paradigm shift?

Summary and Synthesis Cover

Click the image at left to download the Summary and Synthesis paper. Visit the Rocky Mountain Research Station website to download the full Proceedings report.

There is increasing scientific acceptance that we have entered a new “Anthropocene Epoch” wherein human influence, especially in climate and global population, is altering the evolution of virtually every ecosystem on the planet (see "Redefining Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene"). Representing one-quarter of terrestrial ecosystems, but containing an estimated two-thirds of carbon in living terrestrial organisms, and nearly three-quarters of terrestrial species, our forests face growing risk in the Anthropocene.

Advocates and practitioners of conservation are already struggling to protect biodiversity and other essential values and services of forest ecosystems. The accelerating pace of environmental change is prompting a fundamental re-evaluation of existing strategies. The mounting challenges of the Anthropocene have also generated a healthy debate within the scientific community about the basic vision and goals for conservation and sustainable management of the world’s forests.

As a leader in conservation thought, policy, and action, the Pinchot Institute is convening leading thinkers in conservation science and practice to re-examine our vision, goals, and methods for conserving and sustainably managing the forests of the Anthropocene.

This collection of papers served as the foundation for a September 2013 symposium on Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene. These papers articulate:
 

 

  1. Monitoring and Projecting Effects of Changing Climatic Regimes and other Large-scale, Long-term Influences on Forest Ecosystems and Sustainable Management of Forests [JUMP TO SECTION I]

  2. Uncharted territory: Assessing vulnerability and developing options for sustaining key values and services from forest ecosystems under conditions of elevated uncertainty [JUMP TO SECTION II]

  3. Developing and implementing adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation on large landscapes and varying patterns of public and private ownership [JUMP TO SECTION III]

  4. Water resource protection: Investment strategies for managing risks from wildfires, pests/pathogens, and severe storm events [JUMP TO SECTION IV]

  5. Evolving institutional and policy frameworks to support timely implementation of adaptation strategies [JUMP TO SECTION V]

 

 

 

 

 

Section I: Monitoring and Projecting Effects of Changing Climatic Regimes and other Large-scale, Long-term Influences on Forest Ecosystems and Sustainable Management of Forests

 

Climate Change in the Age of Humans (Download Chapter PDF)
J. Curt Stager
[Show Abstract]

 

Evidence-Based Planning for Forest Adaptation (Download Chapter PDF)
Lee Hannah and Tom Lovejoy
[Show Abstract]

 

Adapting Forest Science, Practice, and Policy to Shifting Ground: From Steady-State Assumptions to Dynamic Change (Download Chapter PDF)
Daniel Botkin
[Show Abstract]

 

Evolving Conservation Paradigms for the Anthropocene (Download Chapter PDF)
Ariel Lugo
[Show Abstract]

 

Terrestrial Protected Areas: Threats and Solutions (Download Chapter PDF)
Tim Caro et al.
[Show Abstract]

 

 

 

 

 

Section II: Uncharted territory: Assessing vulnerability and developing options for sustaining key values and services from forest ecosystems under conditions of elevated uncertainty

 

Briefing: Climate and Wildfire in Western US Forests (Download Chapter PDF)
Anthony Westerling, Tim Brown, Tania Schoennagel, Thomas Swetnam, Monica Turner, and Thomas Veblen
[Show Abstract]

 

Forest Ecosystem Re-organization Underway in the Southwestern US: A Preview of Widespread Forest Changes in the Anthropocene?
Craig Allen
[Show Abstract]

 

Increasing resiliency in frequent fire forests: Lessons from the Sierra Nevada and Western Australia (Download Chapter PDF)
Scott Stephens
[Show Abstract]

 

Planning the Future’s Forests with Assisted Migration. (Download Chapter PDF)
Mary Williams and R. Kasten Dumroese
[Show Abstract]

 

Invasive plants, insects, and diseases in the forests of the Anthropocene (Download Chapter PDF)
Alexander Evans
[Show Abstract]

 

Indigenous Experiences in the U.S. with Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship in the Anthropocene (Download Chapter PDF)
Karletta Chief, John Daigle, Kathy Lynn, Kyle Powys Whyte
[Show Abstract]

 

Journeying into the Anthropocene - Scots pine and Eastern Hemlock over the next 400 years (Download Chapter PDF)
Duncan Stone
[Show Abstract]

 

Mitigating Anthropocene influences in forests in the United States (Download Chapter PDF)
Chadwick Oliver
[Show Abstract]

 

 

 

 

 

Section III: Developing and implementing adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation on large landscapes and varying patterns of public and private ownership

 

Challenges and opportunities for large landscape-scale management in a shifting climate: The importance of nested adaptation responses across geospatial and temporal scales (Download Chapter PDF)
Gary Tabor, Anne Carlson, and Travis Belote
[Show Abstract]

 

Implementing Climate Change Adaptation in Forested Regions of the United States (Download Chapter PDF)
Jessica Halofsky, David L. Peterson, Linda A. Joyce, Constance I. Millar, Janine M. Rice, and Christopher Swanston
[Show Abstract]

 

Improving the Role of Vulnerability Assessments in Decision Support for Effective Climate Adaptation (Download Chapter PDF)
Linda Joyce and Constance Millar
[Show Abstract]

 

Maintaining Forest Diversity in a Changing Climate: a Geophysical Approach (Download Chapter PDF)
Mark Anderson, Nels Johnson and Scott Bearer
[Show Abstract]

 

Adaptation approaches for conserving ecosystems services and biodiversity in dynamic landscapes caused by climate change (Download Chapter PDF)
Oswald Schmitz and Anne Trainor
[Show Abstract]

 

 

 

 

 

Section IV: Water resource protection: Investment strategies for managing risks from wildfires, pests/pathogens, and severe storm events

 

Adaptation: Forests as Water Infrastructure in a Changing Climate (Download Chapter PDF)
Todd Gartner, Heather McGray, James Mulligan, Jonas Epstein, Ayesha Dinshaw
[Show Abstract]

 

Water Source Protection Funds as a Tool to Address Climate Adaptation and Resiliency in Southwestern Forests (Download Chapter PDF)
Laura Falk McCarthy
[Show Abstract]

 

Measuring Resilience to Climate Change: The Benefits of Forest Conservation in the Floodplain (Download Chapter PDF)
Carolyn Kousky, Margaret Walls, and Ziyan Chu
[Show Abstract]

 

A Community Based Approach to Improving Resilience of Forests and Water Resources: A Local and Regional Climate Adaptation Methodology (Download Chapter PDF)
Toby Thaler, Gwen Griffith, and Nancy Gilliam
[Show Abstract]

 

Climate Change Effects on Forests, Water Resources, and Communities of the Delaware River Basin (Download Chapter PDF)
Will Price and Susan Beecher
[Show Abstract]

 

Cumulative Effects: Managing Natural Resources for Resilience in the Urban Context (Download Chapter PDF)
Sarah Low
[Show Abstract]

 

Considerations for Forest Adaptation to Climate Change in Sustainable Production of Wood/Fiber/Biomass and Ecosystem Services (Download Chapter PDF)
Roger Sedjo
[Show Abstract]

 

 

 

 

 

Section V: Evolving institutional and policy frameworks to support timely implementation of adaptation strategies

 

National Wildlife Refuges: Portals to Conservation (Download Chapter PDF)
Joe McCauley
[Show Abstract]

 

Policy Challenges for Wildlife Management in a Changing Climate (Download Chapter PDF)
Mark Shaffer
[Show Abstract]

 

Evolving Institutional and Policy Frameworks to Support Adaptation Strategies (Download Chapter PDF)
David Cleaves
[Show Abstract]

 

Climate change: Wilderness’s greatest challenge (Download Chapter PDF)
Nathan L. Stephenson and Constance I. Millar
[Show Abstract]

 

Evolving the policy framework: budget strategies, legislative authorities, and management strategies to facilitate federal forest adaptation and collaborative partnerships (Download Chapter PDF)
Chris Topik and Paige Lewis
[Show Abstract]

 

Summary and Synthesis (Download Chapter PDF)
V. Alaric Sample and Chris Topik
[Show Abstract]

 

 

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