As called for in the Administration’s Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources, Federal agencies worked with state, local, and tribal partners over the past six months to select a suite of geographic areas that will demonstrate the feasibility, practice, and benefits of landscape-scale management approaches toward building climate resilience through the use of existing, cooperative, inter-agency institutions and partnerships (see attached Q&A). These Resilient Lands and Waters represent a range of scales, geographies, and ecological stressors such as fire, sea-level rise, changing ocean conditions, and drought, and will focus on multiple community and ecosystem needs, such as coastal resilience, protecting drinking water for urban areas, improving wildlife habitat connectivity, and preventing threats like wildfire and invasive species.
The first set of Resilient Landscape partnerships (southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region) was announced by President Obama at the 2015 Earth Day event in the Everglades. Today’s second tranche include three locations in California and Crown of the Continent, and all have strong state and local support. Each of these areas has committed to identify and map by October, 2016, initial priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments, to build resilience in vulnerable regions, enhance carbon storage capacity, and support management needs, and to follow upon those efforts by developing landscape-scale resilience strategies to assist in advance planning and management activities. Identifying such priority areas will benefit wildfire management, mitigation investments, restoration efforts, water and air quality, carbon storage, and community resilience.