Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades.
In this project, researchers will bring together land managers who have experienced various degrees of ecosystem transformation (from not yet experiencing any changes to seeing large changes across the lands they manage) to share their perspectives on how to mitigate large-scale changes in land condition. The team will conduct surveys and structured interviews and invite participants to an in-person field trip and workshop. Encouraging land managers to share perspectives across diverse ecosystems with different degrees of drought and wildfire stress will produce new insight into how to better prevent and prepare for ecosystem changes. New knowledge generated from this project will be widely shared with land managers throughout the western U.S. to improve climate adaptation decision making processes.
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“Fire in Boulder, Colorado; Brian Ebel, USGS”