WI-DNR Climate Workshops Identify Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Strategies

A series of workshops for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources supervisors and program mangers has moved climate change to the forefront of natural resource management in Wisconsin. Supported by UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) the workshops brought together ninety DNR staff to learn about historic and projected changes to Wisconsin’s climate, and discuss impacts on resource management.

The workshop report, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Workshops Summary. 2012. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin, identifies climate impacts and adaptation strategies in the areas of: Forestry; Fisheries and Wildlife; Water Resources; and Air, Waste, Wastewater and Stormwater.

Pre and post workshop surveys indicated that over 90% of participants learned that climate change would affect the resources that they manage, and that adaptation to climate change was needed for successful future resource management.

Next steps identified by the workshop participants included:

  • Increased support for research to reduce scientific uncertainty and better predict climate change impacts on key species, ecosystems, and the built environment.
  • Consider climate change impacts for decision-making on long-term management issues such as: master planning, land purchases, rare species management, dam removal, fish passage, rule-making.
  • Develop “toolboxes” of management practices that are appropriate for adaptation to particular climate change impacts as identified by modeling and vulnerability assessments.
  • Communicate to the public how climate change is likely to impact key species, ecosystems, facilities, and communities, and identify adaptation options.