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Webinar: Thinking About Adaptation: Exploring the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) Framework

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Tuesday, 07 December 2021, 12:00

Tuesday, December 7, 2021. 12:00 PM. Webinar: Thinking About Adaptation: Exploring the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) Framework. Scott Covington, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Robin O’Malley, Robin O’Malley LLC. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here. Register here.

Climate change is a complex management problem because it involves persistent change across large areas and is difficult to address locally. Conditions fueled by or worsened by climate change may favor species new to an area over those that have been longtime inhabitants. The result: ecological transformation although system makeover that can occur when species move due to changes in their surrounding environment. Recognizing the need for coordinated action, representatives of several natural resource management agencies met in 2018 to develop a framework to address ecological transformation. The Resist-Accept-Direct framework allows managers to choose from three management responses:

Resist the direction of change, by working to maintain or restore function, structure or composition, based on historical or table current conditions.

Accept the direction of change, by allowing the change to occur without intervening.

Direct the change, by actively managing processes, function, structure or composition toward a new desired condition.

Managers may need to apply a portfolio of these three options across their area to better manage resources impacted by climate change. Regional portfolios, well-coordinated across multiple systems, can reduce the risk of piloting novel actions at anyone location and ensure that future habitats can maintain associated species at other locations. The RAD framework is one way to weigh the economic, ecological, and sociological costs and benefits of various management strategies that can be applied on landscapes faced with ecological transformation.

Scott Covington is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System's Senior Ecologist. He has a background in mitigating wildlife impacts from energy development, including wind projects, oil and gas, and coal mining. This lead him to his current role, where he researches designs to improve restoration and adaptation projects to reduce impacts from climate change - and act as a science facilitator communicating these techniques to Fish and Wildlife Service and partners. Robin O'Malley retired from the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center network in 2020 after a 30 year career in state, federal, and non-profit service. He currently works with the US FWSS and NPS on climate adaptation strategy, and is assisting the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Climate Crisis Working Group as it develops an adaptation plan for the tribe.

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