Secretarial Order No. 3289 of September 14, 2009, established a climate change strategy to integrate the work of each Department of Interior (DOI) bureau to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in the pursuit of their respective missions (senate hearing on climate change, October 28, 2009). Given the broad impacts of climate change, management responses to such impacts are expected to be coordinated on a landscape-level basis.

Connection to Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
Agencies within DOI have proposed use of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) twenty-two geographic areas, referred to as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), as an organizing framework for cooperation on addressing impacts of climate change. The USFWS describes LCCs as “conservation-science partnerships between the USFWS, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other federal agencies, states, tribes, NGOs, universities and stakeholders within a geographically defined area."

National Park Service Strategy
The National Park Service (NPS) expects to fully participate with each of the DOI-proposed LCCs (senate hearing on climate change, October 28, 2009). In fiscal year 2010, the NPS anticipates receiving up to $10M service-wide to address climate change impacts to park resources with an integrated strategy that includes planning, adaptation, and monitoring. The NPS strategy includes monitoring indicators of climate change impacts to park natural resources within four thematic areas: high-elevation, high-latitude, arid-lands, and coastal. In fiscal year 2010 the Washington Support Office (WASO) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program will receive funding to develop work plans for monitoring impacts of climate change within these four thematic areas.

Planed 2010 Efforts
During this fiscal year, the Intermountain (IMR) and Pacific West Regions (PWR) will cooperate on developing work plans for monitoring indicators of climate change within two LCCs; the Great Northern LCC and the Desert LCC. This year the IMR and PWR I&M programs will focus their planning on high-elevation park units (Great Northern LCC) and arid-lands park units (Desert LCC). Planning for monitoring in parks outside of these two LCCs is expected in subsequent years. To secure future funding for I&M monitoring of climate change indicators, I&M planning efforts require working closely with park managers to set monitoring priorities, establishing collaborative partnerships within and outside DOI to develop and accomplish monitoring, and producing collaborative multi-year work plans to implement high priority monitoring in parks.

For this year’s efforts, the Great Northern and Desert LCCs establish the boundaries for these work plans that must be approved by WASO to secure the funding necessary to support our climate change monitoring. Two one-week long workshops will (a) provide critical input from park managers needed for setting priorities, and (b) initiate collaborative partnerships for developing and implementing climate change monitoring. The first workshop, in April, will bring together park managers and partners from three I&M networks within the Desert LCC; Chihuahuan Desert, and Sonoran Desert (IMR), and the Mojave Desert (PWR). The second workshop in May will bring together park managers and partners from three I&M networks within Great Northern LCC; Upper Columbia Basin (PWR), and Greater Yellowstone (GRYN) and Rocky Mountain (IMR).