Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

A Multi-Scale Trans-Disciplinary Vulnerability Assessment

Project Reference Number: 2009-12

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Don Morgan, Research Branch, Ministry of Forests and Range, Smithers


Funder: Future Forest Ecosystems Scientific Council

Adaptation to climate change requires revision of the current forest management framework to reflect new science on climate-related impacts, but also requires structural changes to the framework. Revisions include re-evaluation of existing practice in light of the potential impacts of climate change and contemplation of new objectives such as sequestering carbon and promoting resilience. Structural changes include a more sophisticated approach to management planning that adequately considers risk and uncertainty. The approach must be long term, able to incorporate and respond to new information as the impacts of climate change become apparent to science, and it must serve the multiple parties that participate in management at different scales. In particular, national interests in carbon sequestration and the fate of forest dependent communities should be considered more than they are currently.

This project identifies climate-induced vulnerabilities in the forest management regime in our study area (i.e., the Nadina Forest District, including the Morice and Lakes Timber Supply Areas) and supports re-evaluation and revision of existing plans and practices (proactive adaptation). It lays the groundwork for structural change (e.g., a move towards adaptive management) by synthesizing current knowledge and uncertainty, and by identifying influential forces working at multiple scales within the forest system. This project also supports development of adaptation strategies by forest-dependent communities.

The project began with four objectives:

  1. Management Unit Vulnerability Assessment - assess vulnerability of existing forest management regimes (i.e., objectives and strategies for selected ecosystem services) to climate change in two representative local resource management units;
  2. Management Unit Adaptation Policy – use stakeholder workshops to develop local adaptation policy considering a range of climate change scenario narratives (based on vulnerability assessment);
  3. Multi-scale Vulnerability Assessment Framework - develop a framework to link multiple disciplines and to link local, regional, provincial and national climate change adaptation policy;
  4. Livelihood Assessment - apply livelihood methods to evaluate linkages among people, resources, the environment and the changing climate.



Workshop #1 - Nadina Climate Change Vulnerability - April 20, 2010

Workshop Information:



Vulnerability Assessment Context, Don Morgan

Overview of the Kamloops Future Forest Strategy, Ken Zielke

Complexity & Uncertainty, Don Morgan

Nadina Forest District, Forest Management Objectives and Strategies Overview, Agathe Bernard

Climate Variability & Climate Change, Jim Pojar



Technical Workshops

#1 - November 8, 2010

Impacts on Biodiversity

#2 - November 22, 2010

Impacts on Trees and Timber

#3 - November 25, 2010

Impacts on Hydrology


Workshop #2 - Nadina Climate Change Adaptation - April 12, 2011

Workshop Information:



Climate change narratives

Climate change impacts and management tools

Resilience management backgrounder



Workshop #3 - Climate Change and Community Adaptation Workshop - November 30, 2011

Workshop Information:

Sustainable Livelihood Assessment Summary



Sustaining Livelihoods: Adapting to Climate Change


Bulkley Valley Livelihood Assessment

Resilience in Times of Change

Community-based Risk Screening Tool: Adaptation and Livelihoods in the Bulkley Valley


For more information on the outcomes of this project, please visit the Integrated Systems Reserach Program website.

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
June 2012 A multi-scale trans-disciplinary vulnerability assessment - Poster Don Morgan, Dave Daust, Ken Zielke, Rick Budhwa
May 2012 A multi-scale trans-disciplinary vulnerability assessment - Final Report Don Morgan
February 2012 Removing multi-scale barriers to climate-change adaptation in managed forests of BC Dave Daust
February 2012 Applying Livelihood Methods for Climate Change Adaptation Don Morgan
November 2011 Management strategies for climate change adaptation in the Nadina Forest District Dave Daust, Don Morgan
April 2011 Future Histories: BC Climate Change Narratives for the Nadina Forest District Don Morgan
April 2011 Nadina forest management regime: summary of land management objectives and strategies Dave Daust
March 2011 Projected Climate Change Impacts in the Nadina Forest District Dave Daust, Karen Price
March 2011 Projections of climate-induced shifts in ecological zones of the Skeena Watershed Tongli Wang