A More Resilient Rural America: Accelerated Rural Action for Climate Adaptation

A More Resilient Rural America: Accelerated Rural Action for Climate Adaptation

Gwen Griffith
Model Forest Policy Program
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 3
Session Type: 

Climate resilience can only be fully realized when the rural natural resources are managed to prevent, respond to, and recover from climate impacts to farms, forests, fisheries, waters, infrastructure, and wildlife. Less than 20% of the U.S. population manages 95% of our land. Yet our rural communities are the least prepared for the impacts of extreme weather, fires, disease, invasive species, and more.

To meet this challenge, the Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP) is taking a new approach (www.mfpp.org/rrap). The goal is to accelerate rural climate adaptation by understanding rural priorities and strengthening the ability of climate service providers to meet the needs of underserved rural communities. The project uses a co-production process with rural leaders engaged in design and beta-testing of a training module - Rural Resilience to Extreme Weather: Integrating Land Use Strategies in Comprehensive Plans. This collaborative effort draws on expertise from the Model Forest Policy Program, International City/County Management Association, EcoAdapt, Geos Institute, and NOAA. In the symposium, service providers discover a new approach for rural adaptation; rural leaders find new pathways to natural resource adaptation; and urban leaders see the value of collaboration with rural partners.

Presentations and interactive exercises explore these topics:
● Scale and importance of rural resilience to all communities
● Adaptation priorities and capacity needs of rural community leaders
● Integration of rural adaptation into existing planning processes
● Co-production process to create and beta-test rural training module
● Use of existing adaptation resources in the Climate Resilience Toolkit


The Rural Resilience Imperative: Collaborating for Rural Resilience to Extreme Weather
Gwen Griffith, DVM, MS, Model Forest Policy Program
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Gwen Griffith will introduce the first in a new series of training modules designed in collaboration with rural leaders and the adaptation professionals who serve them. The Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP) responded to rural leader priorities with a training module focused on resilience to extreme weather through integration into existing planning processes, especially comprehensive plans or hazard mitigation plans. This introduction provides the context, scale, and opportunity of this approach to accelerate adaptation with rural communities.

"Meeting Rural Priorities with Resilience Training: Collaborative Process, Deliverables, and Early Results"
Tonya Graham, Geos Institute
“Leveraging Resources in the Resilience Ecosystem from the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit and Beyond"
Edward Gardiner, NOAA Climate Program Office