Climate Solutions University

bigstock-Beautiful-View-Of-Vancouver-B-67220008Learn about our two programs:

Climate Adaptation Plan Development
Climate Adaptation Plan Implementation

Become a leader in the field of climate adaptation!
Model Forest Policy Program offers Climate Solutions University to develop leaders in the challenging work of adapting to climate change.

Preparing your community for climate adaptation is critical.
Smart planning protects citizens from floods and drought, conserves water resources, preserves watershed health, stabilizes micro-climates, maintains species habitat, preserves the economy, and ensures local and regional climate resilience.

The climate adaptation plan you create is ready for implementation.
The finished product is thorough and specific. It includes action steps, timelines, deliverables, and responsible parties. In other words, this plan will not sit on the shelf!

Benefit from building resilience for at-risk urban and rural citizens.
The most effective plans are not geographically isolated, but span jurisdictional boundaries. We recommend upstream rural areas partner with urban municipalities whose water resources, public health, and economic stability depend on ecosystem services delivered from rural areas.


Communities with other planning processes may also qualify.
Climate Solutions University is also for those whose communities’ land use or comprehensive plans are up for revision, whose watershed plans fail to address how climate change impacts hydrology, whose hazard mitigation plans need to address climate change, or those struggling to implement a completed adaptation plan.

Economic & Fiscal Sustainability
The economies of many cities are directly impacted by risks to drinking water, public safety and infrastructure associated with upstream activity and climate impacts. Climate adaptation planning in partnership with rural areas ensures the economic sustainability of these resources. In a challenging fiscal environment, maintaining a strong economy dependent on healthy environmental resources is crucial.

Climate Adaptation Plan Development Program

Waterfall and mountain stream

Join the 33+ communities that have planned and increased resilience through Climate Solutions University! This innovative program is led by climate change experts from Model Forest Policy Program, Cumberland River Compact, and Key Log Economics. We specialize in helping communities create a human-centered regional climate adaptation plan that integrates urban-rural linkages, emphasizes protection of vulnerable citizens, and safeguards critical forest and water ecosystem services. The program is also suitable for organizations and municipalities who wish to integrate forest, water, and economic strategies into exiting plans and processes.

Through the program communities work to attain the benefits of improved land stewardship. You will develop strategies based in solid research that foster positive, sustainable connections between community, economic, and ecosystem health. This includes quantifying the economic benefits of natural resource conservation and developing market-based solutions to natural resource challenges.

From January – December, your organization creates an effective, team-based, and actionable climate adaptation plan with steps to form and engage a local planning team; conduct a local climate, forest, water, vulnerable citizen, and economic risk analysis; develop practical adaptation strategies; and build the necessary public support to implement your plan.

Program Activities (All participation is online, live, interactive, and engaging)

  • Build a support team for collaborative adaptation planning.
  • Conduct a local climate, forest, water, vulnerable citizen and economic risk analysis.
  • Learn through two live, 90 minute interactive webinars each month.
  • Receive ongoing guidance, plan review, and research assistance from adaptation experts.
  • Involve & Protect vulnerable citizens in your climate adaptation plan.
  • Complete your plan with analysis and editing support.
  • Exclusive access to MFPP’s Listserv with current climate adaptation professionals.
  • Work with 4-6 other communities participating in the curriculum.
  • Network with past and present Climate Solutions University participants.
  • Benefit from 1-1 fundraising assistance and joint fundraising opportunities.
  • Enjoy full access to all activities, speakers, working groups for those communities implementing their plans.
  • Increase organizational and personal leadership capacity.

Program Deliverables

  • A team-created Climate Adaptation Plan that addresses regional climate resilience, integrates urban-rural linkages, emphasizes protection of vulnerable citizens, assesses economic conditions, and safeguards critical forest and water ecosystem services.
  • Engaged local stakeholder team for ongoing adaptation support.
  • Public support for implementing your climate adaptation plan.
  • Recognition as a community leader in the field of climate adaptation.

Contact Josh Dye to discuss your interest – or 612-481-8059.

Climate Adaptation Plan Implementation Program

Tree Planting Silhuette

Thanks to the generosity of The Kresge Foundation, in 2016 Model Forest Policy Program will help 5-10 communities implement their Climate Adaptation plans. They will receive:

  • Funding to help implement their climate adaptation plans.
  • Project management assistance to reach adaptation goals.
  • Guidance on improved forest and watershed management, policy, ecosystem services, outreach, and other important adaptation strategies.
  • Fundraising assistance to build organizational capacity.

We will work with them through a process called Impact Consulting. Participants also benefit from peer-to-peer learning, targeted online short-courses, and project management support!

We are excited to see these climate adaptation plans make a difference to the natural resources and people in their communities.

Climate Solutions University Success Stories

Mountain Valley, A Top View Of The River Bed.landscape With A MoIn Sumner County, TN the 2035 Comprehensive Plan now includes climate resilience measures including a goal  for new steep slope protection ordinances, and a county wide 2% increase in tree canopy, reversing tree loss trends along headwater streams.

In Taos, NM, the town awakened to water supply threats and adopted a new water conservation ordinance.

In Durango, CO, the Mountain Studies Institute is active in climate resilience with ecological restoration project and adaptive management through climate change monitoring for the San Juan Resource Management Plan.

In Keene, NH, the Sustainability Project members facilitated adoption of the Ashuelot River 10 year Implementation Plan. It is the first river protection document in the state to address climate change, for which they received recognition.

In Moab, UT, the Canyonlands Watershed Council’s climate planning contributed to  receiving a  $50,000 grant and recently created the Moab Area Watershed Partnership (MAWP) covering over 11,000 square miles and five designated impaired water bodies.

In Missoula, MT, the Clark Fork Coalition is integrating county adaptation planning with US Forest Service climate strategies.

The support system Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) built through Climate Solutions University- from state and federal government agencies, to local leaders, to other environmental groups – were vital to DRBA in responding to and navigating media relations, public concerns, and corporate negotiations. ….because of Climate Solutions University, we were able to quickly find our bearings after the Dan River coal ash spill and move into action, into the solution. We worked with our partners to press for and won passage of the strongest coal ash management laws in the nation.

~Jenny Edwards, 2011 participant, Dan River Basin Association, NC

I think the CSU program is well organized and in a great format for writing a climate adaptation plan. I am excited to start implementing!

~ Morgan Green, 2014 Participant, Nisqually River Council, WA

I highly recommend any agency seeking to pursue these issues engage MFPP for assistance. They fully understand the complexities of problems associated with forest, water and climate and how various policies can be implemented for governmental institutions to modify and change their existing directives and policies.

~ James A. Stafne, Chairman Cookeville Planning Commission, TN

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