Sunday, February 23, 2020

USDA releases report to help land managers operate in drought conditions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Hubs recently released informational tools for land managers to better understand the impact of drought conditions upon forests and rangelands and how they can adapt to them.

The USDA recently released a report titled “Effects of Drought and Forests and Rangelands in the U.S.: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis,” which discusses the ways that drought patterns can directly and indirectly impact land and land managers’ ability to continue producing goods and services there. The report covers matters such as drought characterization, drought effects on forest processes, and how drought conditions can lead to disturbances, including threatening keystone species, changing the advantages of species and potentially leading to wildfires.

While the report does cover ways in which land managers can increase their resilience, the USDA Climate Hubs also developed two-pagers for each of the nation’s regions to summarize the report's findings for land managers operating there, describing strategies they can engage to combat the effects of drought.

Drought patterns in the United states are expected to become even more dynamic over the next few years, making it harder for land managers to maintain their productivity. The USDA Climate Hubs and Forest Service will continue providing tools for them to manage the country’s natural resources.

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United States Department of Agriculture

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