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Drought Risk and Adaptation in the Interior United States

McNeeley, S. M., T. A. Beeton, and D. S. Ojima, 2016: Drought Risk and Adaptation in the Interior United States: Understanding the importance of local context for resource management in times of drought. Weather. Clim. Soc., April, 147–161, doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-15-0042.1.

The purpose of this exploratory social-ecological drought study was to characterize the ways in which some federal and tribal natural resource managers experienced and dealt with drought on lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and tribes in two case site examples (northwest Colorado and southwest South Dakota) that have experienced high drought exposure in the last two decades. Results indicated that local differences in the timing, decisions, and specific management targets defined within the local social–ecological natural resource contexts are critical to understanding drought impacts, vulnerabilities, and responses. These findings suggest that manager-defined social–ecological contexts are critically important to understand how drought is experienced across the landscape and the indices that are needed to inform adaptation and response strategies.


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