Title

The Role of Public Policy in the Development of Climate Adaptation Initiatives: A Case Study of Mountain Pine Beetle Management in Montana

Author

Kevin Zerbe

Date of Award

8-10-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

Jerry Barker

Keywords

Public Policy; Climate Change; Montana; Mountain Pine Beetle; Climate Adaptation

Abstract

An outbreak of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) has devastated over 6 million acres of pine forests in the state of Montana since 1999. State officials in Montana have enacted a pest management program to contain the outbreak, yet it has persisted in various parts of the state. The State has not acknowledged the role climate change (i.e. increasing drought and temperature patterns) has played in this outbreak, nor have they addressed the MPB outbreak's long-term effects and the potential for future climate-related forestry issues. To ensure improved climate resilience, a policy framework based on climate adaptation was developed in this capstone. If utilized, the State can ensure forests will be better preserved and more resilient to future climate-related impacts.

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