Planning for the Future of the Great Basin

Using the Rapid Ecological Assessment data for climate change planning and adaptation

BLM-GreatBasin-BrochureDownload the project overview

Project Team:
Tamara Wall &Tim Brown, DRI; Gregg Garfin, Holly Hartmann & Julie Brugger, Univ. of AZ

Project Objective: 

  • Using the Central Great Basin Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) data, develop best management practices for using scenario planning methods in adaptation planning. 
  • IdentifY how these methods may be integrated into existing regulatory planning processes. 

Project Outcomes: 

  • Identification of best practices for using REA data in scenario planning for strategic management actions. 
  • Participants will have a firm basis for identifYing and prioritizing strategies for adaptation planning. 

Project Overview:

This project will use two previously developed scenario planning processes, Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) & Strategic Scenario Planning (SSP), and integrate them into a series of webinars and a workshop to answer the following questions: 

  • How can scenario planning approaches best incorporate information from REAs?
  • How do scenario planning outcomes connect with existing management planning processes, so that they can best be incorporated into existing ELM adaptive management practices?
  • What are the most appropriate uses for ACT and SSP methods?
  • What are the most robust measures to evaluate scenario planning effictiveness and successfUl implementation?

The SSP method was developed for comprehensive, executive level applications, where decisions can be made and implemented with 'top-down' direction. ACT was developed for highly scoped field-level management questions, pertaining to a single conservation target or landscape process (e.g., fire), and has generally focused on near-term actions that have implications for projected mid-century management. This project will evaluate the potential of combining the two processes to result in a process that is comprehensive and spurs thinking about divergent futures (SSP), and can identif clear pathways to field-level actions (ACT) within a comprehensive, widely-scoped framework. 


  • executive level 
  • comprehensive planning 
  • encompasses shifting objec. 
  • encourages looking at divergent futures & uncertainty 
  • emphasizes changes over time in scenarios and responses 


  • field level 
  • starts with climate effects 
  • narrow focus on specific specific concerns/targets 
  • many options to meet conservation targets 
  • prioritizes strategies, not explicit how they evolve over time 

Potential Project Participants:

Bi-State Sage-grouse Working Group . BLM Field Managers, Central Great Basin USFS District Managers 

Project collaborators:

gblcc-logo blm-logo

For more information please contact Dr. Tamara Wall, DRI, 775-674-7059,


Atmospheric Sciences (DAS)
Air quality and atmospheric research including meteorology, visibility and pollutant transport.

Western Regional Climate Center
Climate Information and Data Services
Providing jointly developed products, services and capabilities that enhance the delivery of public climate info.

Diversity at DRI
An Inclusive Mission of Research Excellence
Diversity at DRI
Offering a supportive and diverse environment for our students, faculty/staff and visitors.

Land and Life
Earth and Ecosystems Sciences (DEES)
Research into changing landscapes including the soils, plants, animals and humans that affect them.

K-12 Outreach and Education
Supporting Nevada educators in science-based, environmental education with free tools, resources, and training.

Renewable Energy at DRI
Discovering New Energy Production Methods
dri-renewable-energyExpanding renewable energy research throughout Nevada and around the U.S.

Hydrologic Sciences (DHS)
Study of the natural and human factors that influence the availability and quality of water resources.

DRI Nevada Medal Event
2015 Medalist - Dr. Christopher McKay
Proudly honoring outstanding achievement in science and engineering with gala events in Reno and Las Vegas.

Nevada Center of Excellence
Supporting Nevada's Economic Development
Center of ExcellenceCombining NSHE water expertise and IBM’s advanced technologies to grow tomorrow's workforce.