Changing Climate, Changing Forests: Exploring the US Forest Service’s 2020 RPA Assessment
What does the future of US forests and rangelands look like in a future defined by climate change? As the impacts of climate change become more tangible, there is renewed focus on the benefits of forests, from carbon storage to biodiversity.
Each decade, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service releases a report on US forest and rangeland conditions and trends. The 2020 Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment, released on July 24, uses new and improved analytical tools to assess the effects of socioeconomic and climate change on forest resources, water, natural disasters, wildlife, and more. Ultimately, the report finds that climate change and other factors are threatening critical landscapes across the United States.
On Tuesday, July 25, Resources for the Future (RFF) and the USDA Forest Service unpacked the findings from the 2020 RPA Assessment. Our panel of leading land use, climate, and policy experts explored the implications of our changing forest resources and what can be done to strengthen forests in the United States. The event also featured an opening address by US Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment Homer Wilkes.
- Janaki Alavalapati, Auburn University
- Terry T. Baker, Society of American Foresters
- Tim Foley, Southern Group of State Foresters
- Rita Hite, American Forest Foundation
- David Lytle, USDA Forest Service
- Ann M. Bartuska, Resources for the Future (moderator)
Emmet F. Thompson Endowed Dean, Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment
Ann M. Bartuska
Senior Advisor, Resources for the Future
Ann M. Bartuska is a senior advisor at RFF. Her research focuses on natural resources and forestry, especially a consideration of natural climate solutions through forests and agricultural lands.
Report — Feb 21, 2024
Policy Incentives to Scale Carbon Dioxide Removal: Analysis and Recommendations
This report surveys the challenges to scaling carbon dioxide removal efforts in the United States and details short-term solutions and long-run policy frameworks.
Media Highlight — Feb 5, 2024
Smithsonian Magazine: “Six Big Ways Climate Change Could Impact the United States by 2100”
RFF Fellow Matthew Wibbenmeyer comments on the threat of climate-driven wildfire.
Media Highlight — Dec 27, 2023
Inside Climate News: “Biden Administration Takes Historic Step to Protect Old-Growth Forest”
A story about proposed federal land management policy mentions a 2021 RFF analysis on the distribution of the United States‘ protected lands.