Home » Manage Forests for Climate Change
Climate change is already altering fire regimes, invasive plant and insect dispersal, and disease occurrence in forests across the United States. As average global temperature continues to warm, these changes will continue.
Forestlands across the nation are experiencing increased threats from fire, insect and plant invasions, disease, extreme weather, and drought. Scientists project increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns that can make these threats occur more often, with more intensity, and/or for longer periods of time.
The potential impacts to forest ecosystems vary by region, species composition, established weather patterns, and other factors. Key impacts include:
Although many of the effects of future changes are negative, natural resource management can help mitigate these impacts. Management strategies informed by the best current science enable natural resource professionals to better protect the land and resources and conserve the region’s forestlands into the future.
Specific approaches vary with site and species of concern, but examples of adaptive strategies include:
Forestry activities can mitigate climate change by contributing to the reduction in atmospheric buildup of greenhouse gases (GHG) in three important ways: sequestration, emissions reductions, and fossil fuel substitution.
While there is no single solution to forest management challenges, opportunities to improve the resilience of forest ecosystems while mitigating global greenhouse emissions are increasingly being embraced by land stewards across the country. In addition to supporting sustainable forestry practices that can provide multiple ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, as long-term environmental stewards land trusts are in a unique position to support mitigation policies and practices that galvanize immediate actions to reduce the potential extent of future climate change today.
For more detailed information and the latest scientific literature about managing healthy forests for the future visit the TACCIMO online tool.