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


Kevin Zerbe

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Organizational Unit

University College, Environmental Policy and Management


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

First Advisor

Jerry Barker


Public policy, Climate change, Montana, Mountain pine beetle, Climate adaptation


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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