Skip to main content

Drought impacts and management options in the Pacific Northwest

Drought has economic, social, cultural, and ecological costs and in the Pacific Northwest droughts are expected to occur more often and for prolonged periods due to changes in climate. As drought becomes more prevalent changes to natural resources are expected. To promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands, the National Drought Resilience Partnership was initiated. As a partner in this effort, the U.S. Forest Service conducted a series of focused workshops across the country to build the capacity to address the impact of short- and long-term drought on forest and rangeland resources, thus informing land management, restoration, and climate change adaptation.

In April 2017, the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region 6 held a drought adaptation workshop with Forest Service scientists and partners from state agencies, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the University of Washington, Environmental Protection Agency, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Center, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the USDA Northwest Climate Hub to share science information on drought and climate effects in the region, and develop management response strategies. Scientists shared information about drought’s effect on hydrology and aquatic ecosystems, forest vegetation, rangeland vegetation and soils, recreation, infrastructure, and water rights. Workshop participants prioritized vulnerabilities of each resource area relative to drought, and identified management strategies for adapting to projected drought conditions in the future

A synopsis of presentations and work group sessions from the Pacific Northwest Region 6 Drought Workshop are available in this factsheet. To find additional drought resources, maps, and applications explore the Forest Service Drought Gallery