Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Vulnerability Assessments

What are Vulnerability Assessments?

Vulnerability assessments are a key component of how we integrate climate change considerations into management and planning at the USDA Forest Service. Vulnerability is defined as the degree to which a human or natural system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, the adverse effects of climate change, including associated climate variability and extremes like heavy rainfall, or drought, and altered disturbance regimes. Vulnerability assessments evaluate the potential impact of climate change on national forests and associated resources. This evaluation provides an understanding of why a resource is vulnerable, which is valuable information that can be used to develop management actions in response.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments Across the Nation

The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments Across the Nation story map is a resource for professionals, researchers, managers, and the public to use when addressing disturbances, extreme weather events, and changing climatic conditions. The story map showcases locations where agencies have conducted climate change vulnerability assessments. Through an easy-to-use interactive dashboard, forest managers and scientists can filter assessments by region, access detailed information about each assessment, and look at charts showing when vulnerability assessments were completed and for which resource areas.