Knowing your forests and how climate change is affecting their health was the overarching theme on a recent Emerald Planet Inside Scoop program. David Cleaves, the U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Advisor, was the sole guest on the hour long live broadcast that was simulcast on CSPAN and the Internet to more than 150 nations.
The show was divided into four segments which included Forest Service history and a wide range of information about the USDA land management agency’s Research and Development program. The last segment focused on the implementation of the U.S. Forest Service’s National Roadmap for Climate Change and its nationally recognized scorecard rating system.
Other topics emphasized was the great diversity of the nation’s forests which include not only the 193 million acres managed by the U.S. Forest Service but also the 500 million more acres of federal, state and privately owned forests. The scope of this diversity was made clear when Dr. Cleaves mentioned that our national forests include tropical rain forests as well as conifer forests “from Hawaii to Maine”.
Cleaves has worked for the Forest Service for more than 20 years. In March 2010 he was selected to be the Agency’s climate change advisor. In this role Cleaves serves the U.S. Forest Service’s chief, executive leadership and employees by coordinating activities related to climate change. He leads the implementation of the Forest Service’s nationwide strategy for weaving climate change response into policies, processes and partnerships.