How the USFS can better incorporate climate change-ready practices

From the Pew Charitable Trusts:

New Research Can Help Support Health of National Forests
Sound climate change-focused management will benefit both people and environment


In light of these growing challenges, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is considering new policies that would support the health and sustainability of national forests. These updates have the potential to benefit both people and nature, now and into the future. The USFS can better incorporate climate change-ready practices in four ways.

1) Use the best available science.
2) Identify specific climate change-ready management tools.
3) Monitor and adapt to changing conditions.
4) Engaging communities and Tribes.

The Forest Service is accepting public comment on how it can improve management of NFS lands and be climate change ready. The agency must hear from the public by July 20 about the need to update its policies to support the sustainability of our nation’s forest landscapes. Comments can be submitted to the agency here.


6 thoughts on “How the USFS can better incorporate climate change-ready practices”

  1. Actually the second bullet sounds like… a background document for fire management planning as I discussed in the comments earlier today here.

    “To support this management approach, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Conservation Science Partners (CSP) have released new research that can be used to help inform management decisions with climate change effects in mind, an approach known as climate-ready management. This publicly available data can be viewed with a user-friendly, interactive web map. Designed with input from USFS, the research identifies:

    * Areas of relatively high ecological value (HEVAs), such as places with high biodiversity, resilience to climate change, and significant carbon storage. Such prime locations would contribute most to sustaining forest health if managed with conservation as a priority.
    * Areas where proactive forest management projects would mitigate the risk of large, severe wildfires, which would help to protect communities, ecologically valuable areas, and the provision of ecosystem services.

    Together, this data can improve return on investment by identifying places where the right management or the right activities will provide the greatest set of benefits across multiple considerations. ”

    It would be interesting to compare those maps with where, say, the Arapaho Roosevelt delineated their PODs.

  2. Our climate is always changing for perfectly natural reasons. Forest management plans need to take this into account.

    But the first point above, involving “best available science,” surely means the “best available pseudoscience.” By including the typical climate nonsense, the USFS is playing along with the now familiar rhetoric from other government agencies that claim that the Earth is warming severely from human emissions of CO2. That is wrong, dangerously wrong. Increased atmospheric CO2 is hugely beneficial to all living things on this planet, because we are made from that CO2.

    I just concluded a meeting with Dr. John Clauser who points out that government agencies, such as NOAA, NASA, and the UN IPCC are continuing to promote a climate catastrophe that is completely unscientific. Years ago, Dr. Ralph Cicerone, the former President of the US National Academy of Sciences, admitted “We don’t have that kind of evidence [of a catastrophe].”

    Dr. John Clauser is the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Few realize that even the UN IPCC has quietly backed away from their extreme warming scenario to something far less concerning. But of course, no one is paying attention, and the UN IPCC is not about to advertise their retreat to the general public.

    Improved forest management plans should always be welcomed, unless they are based on outrageous pseudoscience. That makes them useless.

    At some point, even government agencies need to pay attention to our most celebrated scientists, not our most celebrated bureaucrats.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    • Gordon J. Fulks wrote:
      “Our climate is always changing for perfectly natural reasons.”

      Of course it is. But there hasn’t been any significant global climate forcings in the last several thousands years.

      And the science seems to indicate that right now, natural factors alone are creating a small, net cooling.

      Yet we’re seeing huge and rapid warming. Why? The science overwhelmingly shows it’s because of humans burning fossil fuels and sending its waste products into the atmosphere. Using the atmo as a garbage dump.

  3. Dr. Fulks, I want to thank you and the other anthropogenic climate change (ACC) skeptics for your comments on this forum. They have led me to further my reading on the topic (I’ve already done a fair amount) following some of the ACC skeptic links and leads. Today, for example, I checked into Dr. Clauser and his connection to climate change research. He received his Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum entaglement. Meanwhile, Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi, received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021 for their work tied to climate change. Who should I believe?

    According to my reading, Dr. Clauser has developed a climate change model that more robustly weaves in the impact of clouds indicating a natural moderating force. Other climate models predict more extreme responses. All these models are based on science – not pseudo science – but, are speculative in nature due to the complexity of all the variables that affect the earth’s climate. I would argue that climate modeling still has a long way to go, but isn’t that part of science? Science continues to evolve as more information and understanding is gained.

    So, that leaves us lower human hacks (who vote and, in some cases, carry out land management work) in a bit of a conundrum. Who do we believe? The scientists who are best at disparaging the others?

    I must admit, following the links and leads of ACC skeptics on this forum followed by deeper dives into the veracity of the claims has not changed my mind. I still believe humans are having an impact on the earth’s climate. But, there is another important point not being discussed: risk analysis.

    Good risk analysis considers the potential consequences of pursuing an action. What if the world’s governments and businesses agreed with the ACC skeptics and it turned out they were wrong and current, more dire, climate change predictions were even close to right? Or, what if it was the other way around? Personally, I would rather hedge my bets and pursue a “net zero” carbon emissions world society sooner rather than later. And, as ACC pertains to this forum, I would rather develop proactive land management strategies that consider ACC as a reality.

    One final thought: You state “Increased atmospheric CO2 is hugely beneficial to all living things on this planet, because we are made from that CO2:” The use of the word “all” is often a red flag in science, especially natural science. My understanding is that increased atmospheric CO2 will lead to increased acidification of the oceans, which is not beneficial to all living things in the oceans.

  4. As I asked before — where has John Clausner’s climate work appeared in the peer reviewed literature.

    I looked, and couldn’t find any.

    Clausner certainly knows that those kind of publications are the scientific standard.


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