Climate Vulnerability Assessment in the Northern Rocky Mountains

Access this StoryMap to learn about climate change impacts and identified adaptation strategies in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

The Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnership was a science-management partnership made up of 15 national forests in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region; the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain Research Stations; Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks; the Great Northern and Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperatives; the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee; Oregon State University; EcoAdapt; and Headwaters Economics. These organizations worked together in 2014–2015 to identify climate change issues relevant to resource management in the Northern Rocky Mountains and identify solutions to minimize negative effects of a changing climate and facilitate transition of ecosystems to a warmer climate.

The partnership provided education, conducted a climate change vulnerability assessment, and developed adaptation options for national forests and national parks that manage more than 28 million acres in northern Idaho, Montana, northwestern Wyoming, North Dakota, and northern South Dakota. The results were published in 2018 in a comprehensive two-volume report entitled Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Northern Rocky Mountains (Part 1 and Part 2). 

NRAP facilitated the largest climate change adaptation effort on public lands to date, including participants from federal agencies and stakeholder organizations interested in a broad range of resource issues. It achieved specific goals of national climate change strategies for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, providing a scientific foundation for resource management and planning in the Northern Rockies. The large number of adaptation options, many of which are a component of current management practice, provide a pathway for slowing the rate of deleterious change in resource conditions. Specifically, assessment information and adaptation options can be included in land management plans, National Environmental Policy Act documents, project plans, and restoration.

This ArcGIS StoryMap summarizes both the climate change impacts and the identified adaptation strategies from the assessment and report, covering the following sectors:

  • Water Resources and Infrastructure
  • Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat
  • Forest Vegetation
  • Rangeland Vegetation
  • Wildlife
  • Recreation
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Cultural 
Last modified
30 August 2021 - 6:01pm