This report is a compilation of four briefing papers based on literature reviews and syntheses, prepared for USDA Forest Service policy analysts and decisionmakers about specific questions pertaining to climate change. The main topics addressed here are effects of climate change on wildlife habitat, other ecosystem services, and land values; socioeconomic impacts of climate change on rural communities; and competitiveness of carbon offset projects on nonindustrial private forests in the United States. The U.S. private forest offset projects tend to be less costly than European projects but more expensive to implement than those in tropical forests in developing countries. Important policy considerations involving any mitigation actions include effects on other ecosystem services, such as wildlife habitat, and determining baselines and additionality. Stacking of ecosystem services payments or credits with carbon offset payments may be crucial in improving the participation of private forest owners. Potential social impacts of climate change are discussed in terms of health effects on rural communities and climate change sensitivity of indigenous communities. Potential economic impacts on rural communities are discussed for agriculture, forestry, recreation and tourism, fisheries,water resources, and energy. Salient findings from the literature are summarized in the synthesis of the literature, along with identified research needs.
Alig, Ralph J., tech. coord. 2011. Effects of climate change on natural resources and communities: a compendium of briefing papers. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-837. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 169 p.