Model Forest Policy Program

The Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP): Phase 2 ($25,000)

Recipient: Model Forest Policy Project

Project Partners: EcoAdapt, NOAA Climate Program Office, International City/County Management Association, Geos Institute

The rural counties and small towns of America manage the farms, forests, watersheds and fisheries that provide air, water, food and fiber for urban and rural people alike. However, rural jurisdictions and businesses face escalating risks from extreme weather events and the impacts of heat, storms, flood, drought, wildfire, and much more. The capacity to address these challenges is sometimes limited by a lack of resources, staff capacity, and technical expertise in rural areas. Unfortunately, most existing climate services are also urban-focused. These resources do not mesh with the uniquely rural need to address both small towns and large landscapes that include farms, forests, rangelands, deserts, and waterways. There is a real and growing need for capacity and services that address rural obstacles, geographic conditions, and conservative ideological influences.

The Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP) proposes to accelerate rural climate adaptation by strengthening the ability of adaptation professionals to meet the needs of underserved rural jurisdictions, organizations, and businesses. The proposed project will enable rural leaders to take action on resilience strategies that meet their distinct priorities in ways that are feasible with limited staff and resources. The project is using a co-production approach to work in partnership with rural leaders and adaptation practitioners to understand specific rural priorities and needs and co-produce a series of training modules that meet those needs by drawing from the strengths of the existing resilience ecosystem resources and by using rural-friendly delivery methods.