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​AdDressing Climate Change on Public Lands

In response to climate change, Pennsylvania is experiencing:

  • Higher temperatures
  • Increased precipitation
  • Higher numbers of large storm events
  • Decreased snow cover
  • Changing distributions of some plants and animals

As the caretaker of 2.2 million acres of state forest and 121 state parks, and the state’s primary conservation agency, DCNR has a unique role and responsibility in helping the commonwealth reduce and adapt to climate change.

While climate change presents significant challenges, there is much we can do, from:

  • Managing our forests to sequester an increasing amount of carbon
  • Ensuring that our public lands remain resilient
  • Helping private landowners and communities reduce their carbon footprint and adapt

DCNR Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan

DCNR currently is working with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science to develop a climate change mitigation and adaptation plan for the department that will include:

  • Appointing a Climate Action Steering Team within DCNR to provide resources, monitor progress, and ensure that climate change mitigation and adaptation are integrated into the department’s operations and mission
  • Refining and adapting strategies identified in “DCNR and Climate Change -- Planning for the Future (PDF),” as well as other relevant sources, to create and implement a climate change adaptation and mitigation plan
  • Evaluate the department’s carbon footprint and mitigate greenhouse gases by reducing energy consumption and increasing forest carbon sequestration
  • Develop a climate change communications plan to engage and educate the public and DCNR staff
  • Work cooperatively with state and federal agencies, organizations, and universities to conduct research, share tools and resources, and coordinate our response to climate change