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Bridging the lines of communication between and among researchers and resource managers

May, 2016

Three efforts are ongoing to create online references and catalogues of land management success stories. Though the goal of each of these projects varies slightly, collectively these efforts make information on applied scientific research findings and examples of on the ground implementation of adaptation, conservation and restoration actions available to a broad audience to increase awareness of restoration and climate change adaption options and facilitate management to improve natural resources.

  1. The Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox (CCAST)- RMRS scientists partnered with the Desert Landscape Conservation Center, the USDA Southwest Climate Hub, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Arizona to help identify case studies, tools, and information for adaptive management planning in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. 
  2. The USDA Climate Hub Catalogue of USFS Applied Research- Working with the USFS Washington Office R&D, USFS Sustainable Forest Management Research, and the USDA Climate Hubs, RMRS scientists and collaborators are compiling information on existing projects across the U.S. where USFS research has guided land management approaches to achieve Forest Service objectives including forest productivity, watershed health, resilience to fire, or other disturbances.
  3. The National Climate Change Resource Center (NCCRC) Compendium of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Approaches- RMRS scientists and collaborators have partnered with the Northern Research Station, Northern Forest Hub, and the Adaptation Partners to provide examples of projects in the southwest that demonstrate climate change Adaptation Strategies or approaches as part of an effort to develop a nation-wide compendium of climate change practices adaptation practices to be hosted on the National Climate Change Resource Center (NCCRC) Site.  

screen shot of the USDA Climate Change Resource Center website


  1. The Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox (CCAST)- Collaborators have developed an online tool box that inventories management actions, partnerships and collaborations and monitoring and adaptive management within the southwest and northern Mexico. Summaries of case studies are accessed online and can be downloaded in a convenient 2 page format. In addition, case studies can be found on an interactive map. As part of this effort, RMRS scientist are working on a GTR that synthesizes physiological impacts of climate change for species and riparian systems in the southwestern U.S. and Northern New Mexico. These products help increase land manager access to information on successful management strategies and help identify potential collaborators.
  2. USDA Climate Hub Catalogue of USFS Research. Currently collaborators are reaching out to USFS research station and National Forest personnel to identify applied science projects. Once identified basic information on the location, landownership, management strategy and approach, treatment duration and timeline, disturbances or other factors of interest, pictures and videos, contact information, and related publications is collected for the purpose of cataloguing. The resulting catalogue and interactive map will provide the Forest Service with a better idea of potential resources and applied outcomes of R&D work. Further, by documenting real-world outcomes, this effort can provide land managers with the information and assurance to pursue sustainable forest management practices.
  3. The Climate Change Resource Center (NCCR) serves as a centralized source of climate change adaptation information for forest and grasslands. Visitors to the site can easily browse a range of adaptation strategies and tactics that meet a variety of individual needs. Strategies are presented in a non-technical manner with links to more technical information for those who need additional details. The expanded Compendium will provide managers access to a comprehensive platform covering the entire U.S. and based on common terminology with relevance to a diverse audience of resource managers. It is anticipated that the compendium will be used by: 1) National forest and other public natural resource managers for strategic planning, forest plan revision, restoration efforts, NEPA documents, and projects, and 2) Private landowners, tribes, and non-governmental organizations to plan and implement management actions and restoration efforts. It may also be used in climate change adaptation training.  Ultimately, an extended Compendium would make more research available to a broader audience, increase awareness on climate change adaption options, and facilitate management to improve forest and rangeland condition.

Key Findings

  1. Work on all three projects is ongoing.
  2. Currently the CCAST houses over 50 case studies of working research and restoration activities in the Southwest (here). 
  3. The CCRC website describes Adaptation Approaches (here), and has begun to upload examples of their implementation (here).


CCAST webinar can be accessed here:

Case studies can be downloaded and printed from the various sites.

Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-87. Forest adaptation resources: climate change tools and approaches for land managers

Chris Swanston’s webpage regarding the CCRC and his work to develop a compendium of adaptation approaches

The Adaptation Partners website: And their library of adaptation actions which are contributing to the compendium effort:

Case Study and CCAST 2.pdf (PDF download)

Project Contact: 

Principal Investigators:
Matt Grabau - US Fish and Wildlife Service
Genevieve Johnson - USGS Southcentral Climate Adaptation Science Center
Anne Marsh - United States Forest Service Research and Development
Toral Patel-Weynand - Sustainable Forest Management Research
Chris Swanston - Northern Research Station
Jessica Halofsky - University of Washington

Emily Elias - USDA Climate Hub

Research Staff:
Adam Ricks - Bureau of Reclamation
Andrea Lopez - University of New Mexico
Briana Becerra - University of New Mexico
Amanda Webb - University of Arizona
Ashley Simpson - University of Arizona
Ashwin Naidu - University of Arizona
Hannah Abbots - Michigan Tech University
Hubs and FS Climate Change Resource Center
Kristen Schmitt - Michigan Tech University
Mary McFadzen - Montana State University
Sophie Osburn - Montana State University

Funding Contributors:
USDA Climate Hub
The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative
USFS Washington Office