Managers already face uncertainty when making decisions about how to best manage natural resources. Now, climate change is adding an additional level of complexity to resource management decisions. Understanding the ability of human and ecological communities to adapt to changing conditions (known as their adaptive capacity) is an integral component of effective management planning in the face of climate change. So too is identifying ways in which managers can better incorporate information on climate and the vulnerability of resources into their decision-making.
This project sought to improve decision-making in the North Central region by developing an approach to managing natural resources that acknowledges the uncertainties that exist and incorporates the adaptive capacity and vulnerability of resources to climate change. To meet this goal, researchers assessed (1) the key factors that affect the ability of human and ecological communities to adapt to climate change; (2) the current vulnerability of communities to changing conditions; and (3) the current risk assessment methodologies being used by managers in the region. The results of this project can help improve natural resource management decisions under changing climate conditions.
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“San Miguel River Valley, CO - Credit: Alan Cressler”