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Developing an assisted migration plan for the Superior National Forest

Informally Refereed
Authors: Stephen D. Handler, Leslie Brandt, Katie Frerker, Joanna Gilkeson, Clinton Gregory, Nicholas Labonte, Carl Layman, Kathleen McTighe, Kaysee Miller, Kyle Stover, Myra Theimer
Year: 2022
Type: Proceedings (P)
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: In: Jain, Theresa B.; Schuler, Thomas M. [comp.]. Foundational concepts in silviculture with emphasis on reforestation and early stand improvement - 2022 National Silviculture Workshop. Proc. RMRS-P-80. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.

Abstract

The Superior National Forest (SNF) is preparing forest ecosystems for the challenges of continued climate change. Covering over 3 million acres in northern Minnesota, the SNF consists of boreal-temperate transition forests including several species expected to decline over the next century, such as jack pine, black spruce, and quaking aspen. As one possible adaptation action, silviculturists on the SNF have been implementing small-scale pilot projects to test assisted migration of tree species, including reforesting with new seed sources of existing species as well as introducing novel species to the forest. These pilot efforts have been limited by a lack of consistent guidance and direction. To ensure that the SNF pursues assisted migration decisions in a consistent, informed, and coordinated manner, SNF is working with partners to create a formal Assisted Migration Plan (AMP). This plan is designed to help SNF staff determine areas on the forest that are appropriate for assisted migration, tree species that may be most suitable for assisted migration, monitoring and logistical considerations, and effective processes for engaging tribal nations and other partners. This presentation will describe the process of creating the AMP, the contents of the plan, and recommendations for other national forests interested to pursue a similar effort. Assisted migration has the potential to gradually reshape forest ecosystems as we know them, and collaborative planning processes can help ensure that National Forests continue to meet the needs of all partners when deciding how to go forward with these actions.

Parent Publication

Keywords

silviculture, stand improvement, artificial and natural regeneration, forest thinning, forest management, restoration, stand tending reforestation

Citation

Handler, Stephen D.; Brandt, Leslie; Frerker, Katie; Gilkeson, Joanna; Gregory, Clinton; Labonte, Nicholas; Layman, Carl; McTighe, Kathleen; Miller, Kaysee; Stover, Kyle; Theimer, Myra. 2022. Developing an assisted migration plan for the Superior National Forest. In: Jain, Theresa B.; Schuler, Thomas M. comp. . Foundational concepts in silviculture with emphasis on reforestation and early stand improvement - 2022 National Silviculture Workshop. Proc. RMRS-P-80. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/treesearch/64701