Washington, DC (July 23, 2010)- The many benefits we receive from forests and grasslands are threatened by climate change. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, in a recent message to all employees, emphasized that every program and unit in the Forest Service has a role to play in responding to climate change. In fact, the new USDA Strategic Plan for 2010-1015 sets a departmental goal to “Ensure our national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while enhancing our water resources.”
To guide the Forest Service in achieving this goal, the Service has developed a Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change. The Roadmap integrates land management, outreach, and sustainable operations accounting. It focuses on three kinds of activities: assessing current risks, vulnerabilities, policies, and gaps in knowledge; engaging partners in seeking solutions and learning from as well as educating the public and employees on climate change issues; and managing for resilience, in ecosystems as well as in human communities, through adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable consumption strategies.
And, to measure its progress in moving toward this goal, the Forest Service has implemented a Performance Scorecard. The scorecard includes measures of progress made by each national forest and grassland, supported by the regional offices, stations, and national programs. The scorecard will address agency capacity (training and program guidance); partnerships (alliances, integrating science and management); adaptation (assessing and monitoring key resource vulnerabilities and priorities); and mitigation (assessing and managing carbon stocks and flows, reducing our environmental footprint).
National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change