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Climate Hub Forum highlights collaboration and innovation


A group of people gathered together, posing for a group photo. The photo is inside a well lit room, with ornate chandeliar lights hanging from the ceiling and a large, shiny wood table in fron of the group. their refelctions can be seen in the polished top of the table.
Attendees to the Climate Hub Directors Forum in Washington, D.C. with Secretary Vilsack. Photo courtesy of Diana Martinez Gonzalez, Climate Communications resource assistant.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, USDA hosted a Climate Hub Directors Forum in Washington D.C. This was a unique opportunity for the Forest Service and ARS Regional Hub Directors to share lessons and accomplishments from the OneUSDA Climate Hub program with agency and mission area leaders while hearing leadership perspectives on working toward reducing the risks of climate change on working lands and communities.

Several special topical sessions were designed to encourage conversation among the regional directors and mission area leaders on priority issues:

  • “Conversation on Water” with Research, Education, and Economics Deputy Under Secretary Sanah Baig, ARS Administrator Simon Liu, and ERS Administrator Spiro Stefanou and Assistant Administrator Kelly Maguire
  • “Conversation on Forests” with Natural Resources and the Environment Forest Service National Forest System Deputy Chief Chris French, Research and Development Acting Deputy Chief Linda Heath, and State, Private, and Tribal Associate Deputy Chief Jeff Marsolais
  • “Conversation on Climate-smart Agriculture” with Farm Production and Conservation Undersecretary Robert Bonnie, NRCS associate chief Louis Aspey and RMA administrator Marcia Bunger
  • “Launching the International Climate Hub” with the Foreign Agriculture Service
  • “Conversation on Climate Equity and Justice” with USDA J40 lead and FS social scientist Catherine Doyle-Capitman.

“The USDA Climate Hubs are a mechanism to provide climate solutions across USDA agency boundaries. They also provide a mechanism to engage with other federal regional climate service providers such as the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers and the NOAA Climate Adaptation Partnerships Program.” said William Gould, national lead for the USDA Climate Hubs. “We focus on understanding local and regional impacts of climate change on working lands and the communities. The hubs help USDA agencies deliver information and solutions that reduce the risks of climate change.”

The regional directors and the executive committee had the opportunity to hear from associate Chief Angela Coleman, who identified three key benefits the hubs provide to the Forest Service:

  1. Building literacy and access to climate change information as an authoritative and trustworthy source
  2. Providing land management and decision support tools helping partners across diverse landscapes
  3. Helping integrate climate change into how the Forest Service does its work.

The regional directors also met with USDA Secretary Vilsack, who reiterated opportunities to institutionalize and fully integrate the USDA Climate Hubs across the department.

Major milestones for the program include the transition from Forest Service to Natural Resource Conservation Service leadership in FY24 and the Climate Hubs upcoming five-year review and 10-year anniversary. The forum ended with an excellent tour of the National Arboretum and an Agricultural Research Service talk on precision agriculture.     

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/inside-fs/delivering-mission/apply/climate-hub-forum-highlights-collaboration-and-innovation