Climate Projections for National Forests

Part of my job at the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station was to do science that was useful to our National Forests. Forest managers are required to create Forest Plans to guide the management of the forest for the years to come. Climate and climate change information is critical to making informed plans.

To address this need, I developed a series of datasets and maps for each National Forest where data was available, 112 in all. This data included temperature, precipitation, streamflow and snow metrics for historical and future time periods as well as absolute and percent changes between the time periods. I programmed the maps in R.

We shared the data and maps with forest managers. The feedback from the managers was very positive and some of them included the maps directly in their Forest Plan documents.

You can learn more about this project and access all the data and maps on the National Forest Climate Change Maps website. I’ve included a few example maps below.