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Climate change: Wilderness's greatest challenge

Informally Refereed
Authors: Nathan L. Stephenson, Connie Millar
Year: 2014
Type: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Source: In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 453-460.

Abstract

Anthropogenic climatic change can no longer be considered an abstract possibility. It is here, its effects are already evident, and changes are expected to accelerate in coming decades, profoundly altering wilderness ecosystems. At the most fundamental level, wilderness stewards will increasingly be confronted with a trade-off between untrammeled wilderness character and primeval, natural conditions, accompanied by increasing impetus for management intervention. Possible strategic responses to climatic change fall into four broad classes: restraint (do nothing), resilience, resistance (near-term ways of buying time), and realignment (long-term adaptation). Planning responses will be made challenging by the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of future changes; fortunately, robust planning approaches, like scenario planning, are available.

Parent Publication

Keywords

forest conservation, management, Anthropocene, climate change

Citation

Stephenson, Nathan L.; Millar, Constance I. 2014. Climate change: Wilderness's greatest challenge. In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 453-460.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/treesearch/46604