For their outstanding work in raising awareness and addressing the impacts of climate change on the nation’s natural resources, the U.S. Forest Service was honored on June 10, 2016 as the first-ever recipients of the Climate Adaption Leadership Award for Natural Resources.
“The award recipients and honorable mentions are the outcome of the Forest Service’s early engagement on climate change from policies and guidance such as the Climate Change Performance Scorecard, the 2012 Planning Rule and the on-going observable effects of a changing climate on our nation’s forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “This recognition also demonstrates that the Forest Service has been taking innovative approaches to address climate change for a long time as sustaining our forests and grasslands are at the core of the Agency’s mission.”
The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award was established in 2015 in support of the President’s Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources, which identified key actions across the federal government to support resilience of America’s vital natural resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them.
The Forest Service award recipients were selected from 47 nominations from around the country who demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing adaptation of the nation’s valuable fish, wildlife and plant resources. The Forest Service award recipients announced today are:
- Federal Agency, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, U.S. Forest Service: Incorporating climate vulnerability into over 185 forest management projects across the Midwest, Central Appalachians and the Northeast.
- Federal Individual, Dan Isaak, U. S. Forest Service: Prioritizing climate-informed conservation of aquatic species and habitats in the Western U.S. by mapping cold-water refuges that can support species at risk.
- Honorable Mention, David L. Peterson, U. S. Forest Service: Mentoring scientists, bridging the science and natural resource management communities, and helping managers develop climate adaptation strategies across millions of acres of forest in the West. Dr. Peterson is also a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for his contribution to the International Panel on Climate Change.
The Award is sponsored by the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy’s Joint Implementation Working Group in partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).