Incorporating Climate Change
Adaptation into INRMPs: Case Study
Dawn M. Lawson SPAWAR SSC Pacific
Carolyn Enquist NPN
Rob Wolf TDI
Christy Wolf Detachment Fallbrook
Elizabeth Kellogg TDI
Climate Change Adaptation Planning
• Workshop Organization
– plenary session to introduce background material
– development of conceptual model of ecosystem
– Identify strategic actions including barriers and
– discussion of strategic climate informed monitoring
• Case study conducted at Det. Fallbrook because
1. simplified military operational environment
2. well developed natural resources program
3. high biodiversity with trade-offs among
4. multiple threats from global change (climate
change, invasive species, fire…)
Maintain a healthy and heterogeneous CSS
community that contains a balance between
early seral stage CSS (grass and forb dominated)
suitable for Stephen’s kangaroo rat and
later seral stages suitable for the California
Development of Conceptual Model
Conceptual Ecosystem Model
Hypotheses of Change
Identification of Strategic Actions
Top 3 Strategic Actions
• Suppress populations of high priority exotic plant
species via targeted herbicide applications – control or
• Identify and protect habitat for important populations
of CAGN and SKR as refugia from fire. Work with fire
department to develop pre-suppression as well as
suppression actions tailored to these refugia.
• Use targeted grazing to reduce the biomass of annual
exotics (i.e., decreasing thatch to reduce wildfire threat
and providing more suitable habitat for SKR).
Climate Informed Monitoring Discussion Points
• The goal of climate-informed monitoring is to allow NR managers
to consider climate change in the context of management and
• The specter of climate change brings up new questions – ie are
breeding seasons changing, are phenological mismatches
occurring between species that depend on each other.
• The challenge is that existing monitoring programs are often
large, complex and driven by regulatory requirements which can
make changes time consuming.
• Ad hoc changes when a good idea comes up (ie making sure that
bird monitoring programs track whether the breeding
season is changing) but without programmatic review
it is likely important opportunities will be missed.
Case Study- Lessons Learned
The workshop format was very effective in engaging the attendees. They
received information, synthesized and applied it.
Only a small portion of the objectives in the INRMP could be addressed.
It is important to have scientists and managers working together to
develop hypotheses of change.
Vulnerability assessments can be useful in developing hypotheses of
change but not required.
Due to the time required to develop hypotheses of change and the
regional applicability it may be better to develop them for the region as a
separate endeavor from identification of strategic actions.
The identification of strategic actions could then be done on an
installation by installation basis as part of the INRMP process. Each
installation could select the most relevant potential changes based on
their mission and potential operational impacts and address these in their
Case Study- Lessons Learned
6. A comprehensive review of monitoring relevant to management
objectives would be useful at the level of identifying what can be
modified or added to monitoring efforts but not an in-depth
redesign of any given monitoring effort.
7. Preparing for climate change needs to fully incorporate adaptive
management – there are huge concerns about climate change but
there is also huge uncertainty and so taking action needs to start
verifying that the hypothesized changes are indeed happening
identifying, testing and evaluating management strategies that may be more
successful under hypothesized change so that if it occurs new strategies have
climate informed monitoring - ensure ongoing monitoring programs are
designed to detect hypothesized changes and differentiate between natural
variability, mission impacts, ecosystem drivers including climate change.
Key future challenge - distinguishing between project
effects, natural variability and climate change
This willow dead (?)
San Onofre Creek Dieback Area –
lower on trunk
(based on ecological and ground
water studies, concluded this dieback was within the historic range of variation)
General Concept for Incorporation
of Climate Change into INRMPs
1. Regional (southwest ecoregion) development of hypotheses of change.
Regional could be a) USMC installations only b) USMC and Navy
c) broader coalition through perhaps LCC
2. Climate-informed monitoring. Regional review of monitoring programs
to identify opportunities to improve detection of hypothesized effects
of climate change, differentiate between mission effects and other
drivers including climate change and natural variability
3. Camp Pendleton (or in a broader context each installation) use regional
hypotheses of change and climate informed monitoring opportunities
in the context of their mission and environmental setting to incorporate