NRAP Objectives and Target Outcomes

The NRAP covers an area of geologically and ecologically diverse lands united by common climate change threats to hydrology and roads, fisheries, wildlife, vegetation and disturbance, recreation, and socioeconomic conditions.


  • Develop a framework and tools for resource managers to incorporate the best available science into landscape/planning assessments, resource management and planning, resource monitoring, project design, NEPA analysis, conservation strategies, and State Wildlife Action Plan updates.
  • Synthesize the best available scientific information to assess climate change vulnerability and develop adaption options throughout the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains ecoregion in order to understand and mitigate potentially adverse effects of climate change on natural resources and ecosystem services.  


  • Establish an effective long-term science-management partnership involving multiple agencies and stakeholders to continually assess climate change science and its implications for biophysical and social resources. (Winter 2014)
  • Conduct a vulnerability assessment of priority resources (species, ecosystems, ecosystem services) (Summer 2014) and develop associated adaptation strategies (Winter 2015) to help build resistance, enhance resilience, and facilitate ecological transitions for the Northern Rockies ecoregion.
    • The assessment will focus on climate trends, water resources, fisheries, wildlife, forested and non-forested vegetation, disturbance regimes, recreation, and ecosystem services.  The assessment and adaptation strategy will be peer reviewed and published, providing the scientific foundation for operationalizing climate change in planning, ecological restoration, and project management.
  • Educate and engage with partners, stakeholders, decision makers, planners, and resource specialists to:
    • Build an enduring partnership to facilitate application of climate-smart management.
    • Provide tools to incorporate and apply adaptation options through assessment, planning, project implementation, and monitoring.
  • Conduct workshops for each subregion (Fall 2014) with scientists, land managers, conservation practitioners, and other stakeholders to review the vulnerability assessment.
    • Downscale information from the region-wide assessment to identify the most significant vulnerabilities to climate change for priority resources in each subregion.
    • Identify adaptation strategies and tactics to reduce resource vulnerabilities.  Adaptation strategies and tactics will be linked to corresponding management operation levels at different spatial and temporal scales.
    • Workshop dates and venues
      • Oct 20-21               Missoula (Central subregion)
      • Oct 23-24               Coeur D’Alene (West subregion)
      • Oct/Nov TBA        Bozeman (GYA subregion) and Helena (East subregion)
      • October TBA         Bismarck (Grassland subregion)

Target Outcomes

  • The vulnerability assessment will provide information on climate change effects needed for national forest plans, project plans, conservation strategies, and restoration.  The assessment will be particularly useful for national forest and park planning and management.
  • Climate change sensitivities and adaptation options developed at the regional scale will provide the scientific foundation for sub-regional and national forest and park vulnerability assessments, adaptation planning, and resource monitoring.
  • Training will be provided to resource specialists who, in conjunction with place-based information, can apply climate change to land management throughout the region.
  • Climate change will be operationalized throughout the region resource management and planning.