The purpose of this project is to train professional foresters and natural resource managers in Oregon and Washington to help woodland owners prepare for and adapt to climate change. In 2018 the advisory group convened to prioritize information sources for the focal forest types and geographies served in this project and to outline a framework for conveying information based on the structure developed for the Climate Change Response Framework by the Northern Institute for Applied Climate Science and USDA U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center.
The literature review, synthesis and framing of information for the management plan template language and adaptive management continued throughout 2018. As noted by the advisory group and planning team – this project is an important and ambitious effort given the various forest types, the translation of landscape-scale changes to stand-scale approaches, and for the development of recommendations when site specificity is increasingly important for individual tree survival.
NNRG and partners are focusing this project on five general forest types in Oregon and Washington that are in lower elevation areas (<3,500 feet), typically owned by non-industrial owners (private, tribal, & public). These forest types include:
- dry Douglas-fir and mixed conifer forests of the Tsuga heterophylla Zone (southwest WA, Cascade foothills to mid-elevations),
- wet Douglas-fir and western hemlock forests of the Picea sitchensis Zone (OR and WA Coasts),
- oak woodlands and Douglas-fir of the Quercus woodland and conifer forests zone (Willamette Valley, Puget Trough, San Juans),
- Ponderosa pine mixed forests of the Pinus ponderosa zone (central and eastern OR and WA), and
- riparian corridor forests.
In early 2019, NNRG and partners will complete the management plan templates and curriculum development. In spring 2019, NNRG will reconvene the project advisory group in advance of preparing the webinars and education materials. NNRG will share draft materials for the climate adaptation library with partners for review. Workshops will take place during summer and early autumn.
After multiple years of drought and above average temperatures, forest producers in the Pacific Northwest are observing changing conditions in the woods. Land managers are noting entire stands of young tree die off, the loss of stands of near-merchantable timber, and death of individual mature trees. Increasingly forestry practices will require specialized knowledge and changes to management activities to ensure individual tree growth and forest development along successional pathways.
This project, Climate Adaptation Training for Foresters, (EW 16-021), seeks to train professional foresters and natural resource managers in Oregon and Washington to help woodland owners prepare for and adapt to climate change. In partnership with an advisory team of local, state, and federal climate scientists, forest ecologists, foresters and other land managers – NNRG is synthesizing current information about climate adaptation best practices for low-elevation forests in Oregon and Washington. This information will be shared with natural resource professionals and forest owners through webinars and workshops focused on climate change risks, sensitivities, adaptation strategies, and adaption tactics.
The primary contributions of the project to date are: 1) an increased interest from partners and natural resource professionals to participate in the climate adaptation curriculum and design of content for the management plan templates, and 2) a collaboration with a regional non-profit and local agencies that will showcase a demonstration climate adaptation project in the Puget Trough lowlands and provide additional training of natural resource professionals.
In winter 2018, the project team convened the advisory group to review and complete the adaptation library, template adaptation plans, and training curriculum.
In spring 2019, NNRG will begin promotion of workshops and training events planned for summer and early autumn.
NNRG is partnering with the non-profit organization the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and local agencies Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities to create a climate adaptation forest restoration project in the Puget Trough lowlands. NNRG is leading the the landowner/forest producer and natural resource professional curriculum for this project in 2019. The partners invited NNRG to contribute to this forest restoration project’s educational components based on their understanding of the work we will be carrying out through EW16-021 – Climate Adaptation Training for Foresters. This opportunity was an unanticipated outcome stemming from this project. NNRG is pleased to further distribute the training materials.
More information about the project can be found here: https://www.nnrg.org/snapshots-from-stossel-creek-reforestation-project/