Keeping up with Climate Change: Identifying the Range of Acceptable Human Interventions in Forested Ecosystems

Forests have a diverse set of roles related to the provision of ecosystem services such as water purification, cultural benefits that are highly valued, the provision of timber products, and other economic resources that contribute significantly to Canadaʼs gross domestic product (GDP) and employment opportunities. However, climate change alters this critical social-ecological system’s ability to provide these services, values, and resources. Trees are adapted to the local climates in which they grow, but as the climate shifts at a rate that is expected to exceed maximum observed natural migration rates, tree populations are expected to become maladapted to their local environment. With the intent of anticipating and mitigating this effect, forest management is presently undergoing major changes.

The objective of this research is to examine the variation in perceived acceptability of potential forest management interventions, which can mitigate the risks of climate change among rural forest-based communities in British Columbia (BC) and Alberta (AB). Engaging communities that will be impacted by such changes in management allows for the formation of forest policy that benefits local users. A secondary benefit of conducting such research is gaining a deeper understanding of how people perceive and respond to the risks of climate change and risks of adaptation.

This project is funded by Genome BC and Genome Canada.

Molly Moshofsky  →