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Climate Change: Getting Organized (Part 2)

By David Cleaves, U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Advisor

This update is one way we are trying to connect people inside and outside the Forest Service around the issues and the lessons we are learning in this changing climate. In implementing the Department’s new Strategic Plan (described in the next section), just signed by Secretary Vilsack, the Forest Service will be leading efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In the coming weeks, we will be unfolding a system for accounting for our accomplishments under this new and important responsibility.

We will be providing direction through the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Responding to Climate Change and through the implementation of a new derivative roadmap that sets priorities from among the Framework’s many recommended actions.  Forest Service R&D is already operating off a new companion Climate Change R&D Strategy and Implementation Plan, which outlines research and science application priorities based on an extensive assessment of knowledge needs and scientific realities.

To improve national and regional coordination, we are developing a nationwide, cross-deputy network of leaders set up to enable, coordinate, and advocate climate change action and learning.

We are also forming a limited number of standing national teams to be our centers of excellence on key, enduring needs such as carbon and greenhouse gas emissions policy, adaptation planning and capacity building, and education. These standing teams will blend national and field perspectives and define ways to more effectively organize science syntheses, resource assessments, impact analyses, and climate response strategies so that each national forest or field unit is not forced to develop separate or piecemeal approaches to dealing with the multidimensional climate dilemma.

Hopefully by connecting the creative activities of a decentralized organization such as ours and balancing national direction with regional and local discretion, we can fulfill our duty to represent the role of forests and grasslands in the growing national efforts to respond to a changing climate.

Go to the Climate Change Update at: http://www.fs.fed.us/climatechange/updates/cc-news-july7.pdf

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