NNRG has taken on the task of researching and disseminating climate adaptation strategies for Northwest forest owners and managers. We recently convened three heady workshops on the topic, developed video presentations based on those workshops, and are in the process of producing a forest management guidebook and template language for forest management plans. Visit this page on our website
to access some of these resources.
Although we are sharing some new and innovative management strategies, I’m personally comforted by the fact that, arguably, the most effective strategies are common management tools forest managers have been using for generations
: forest composition and stocking densities.
The nuance in this is to pay attention to microclimate and manage the right species in the right location. If Northwest climate model projections hold true and rainfall becomes more concentrated during the winter months while summers become hotter and drier, then adjusting tree species across your land so they are in the most suitable microclimate
is one of your best long-term strategies.
A complementary strategy to managing species composition is managing stocking density—again, in particular on drier sites. Forest resilience may be improved by maintaining lower stocking densities than we've historically had. I think of the “too many straws in the ground” analogy
when considering how many trees are suitable on a site given increasingly limited soil moisture availability during later summer months.
Beyond these two relatively straightforward adaptation strategies there are more exotic and innovative tools available to folks (assisted species migration, seedlot selection, etc.), but I’ll refer you to NNRG’s online resources
to better explain those. Happy thinning...summer is coming!
Director of Forestry