Climate Related Decisionmaking on Public Lands in the Intermountain West


Start Date

Primary Investigators
Lisa Dilling
Kelli Archie

Geographic Region

Despite agency-level efforts to promote climate adaptation on federal public lands, it is unclear how widespread adaptation efforts are on a regional or office basis. Previous research has showed that though there is strong climate change awareness among land managers, direct action addressing climate change is more limited. In order to obtain data about individual land manager and agency-level adaptation barriers and plans, PIs surveyed approximately 3100 land managers employed by the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Results suggest that adaptation planning by public lands agencies in CO, UT and WY is occurring but that implementation of these plans remains relatively rare. In addition, individual beliefs and attitudes about climate change do not appear to influence responses about adaptation planning, although the agency for which a respondent works is a statistically significant predictor of respondents’ assessments of current adaptation planning.

Climate Change and Western Public Lands: a Survey of U.S. Federal Land Managers on the Status of Adaptation EffortsEcology and Society 17(4): 20.

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