This document provides a collection of resources designed to help forest managers incorporate climate change considerations into management and devise adaptation tactics. It was developed in northern Wisconsin as part of the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework project and contains information from assessments, partnership efforts, workshops, and collaborative work between scientists and managers.
This peer-reviewed report is a thorough and comprehensive overview of how climate change is expected to affect the United States. It includes analyses of impacts on seven sectors – human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, and ecosystems. The report also assesses U.S. regional impacts and outlines some climate adaptation efforts.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has been a critical partner in the development and implementations of the CCRF, and has been a test-bed of new resources and activities for responding to climate change in land management. The approach of the CCRF is grounded heavily in partnerships because climate change is inherently an issue that crosses land ownership boundaries: all lands will be affected in some way. Partnership efforts engage a diverse set of land managers, scientists, and others to learn from one another and find practical solutions for sustaining natural ecosystems and the people that depend on them. While partners may have different management goals for their forested lands, each has a stake in managing proactively to maintain these goals under future conditions.
The CCRF approach is unique. It provides a path for organizations to better understand the risks associated with a changing climate, and also works to help identify potential actions for adaptation across spatial scales ranging from individual stands and forests to large landscapes. Building a comprehensive approach to climate change takes time, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet has built its program over time.
Importantly, all of these activities have also helped the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest answer “yes” to 7 elements Performance Scorecard for implementing the Forest Service Climate Change Strategy. Scroll through the images below to see a timeline of activities.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet has a long list of accomplishments related to climate change, many of which were developed as part of the CCRF. This case study focuses on the innovative work that the Chequamegon-Nicolet has done in translating scientific information from climate change vulnerability assessments into on-the-ground demonstrations of climate change adaptation. Information on other aspects of the CNNF approach is available through the Additional Resources tab.
Adaptation demonstration projects provide much-needed examples of what climate change adaptation activities look like in real-world conditions. Although information is increasingly available on how ecosystems may be affected by climate change, there are few examples of management activities that explicitly consider climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities. Adaptation demonstrations, which are one component of the CCRF approach, are designed to fill that gap while also testing out new ideas and actions.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has several adaptation demonstrations underway, with the goal of having one demonstration project on each of its five Districts. Each adaptation demonstration is unique, with the intent of providing examples across a variety of spatial scales, forest types, and management issues. Likewise, a variety of adaptation demonstrations have also been established in northern Wisconsin across state, tribal, and private lands.
One adaptation demonstration evaluated the potential effects of a changing climate on two aspen stands on the National Forest. A team of natural resource managers and climate change specialists from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on the two stands and identified a variety of actions that could enhance forest resilience to climate change under a wide range of future conditions. As a result, small changes were made to the silvicultural prescriptions for these stands to reduce risks to these stands from climate change. The stands are now marked and under contract, with harvest anticipated in winter 2013-2014. Additionally, a set of monitoring metrics was identified that can help evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation actions.