Forests define the character, culture, and economy of this large region but face an uncertain future as the climate continues to change.
As ecosystems continue to respond to a changing climate, individuals and organizations tasked with managing these ecosystems will benefit from re-examining their priorities, objectives, and tactics. We have developed tools and resources that help natural resources professionals incorporate climate change considerations into existing management frameworks.
Effects from Climate Change
Forests vary widely across the region, and the effects on these ecosystems will depend on local changes in climate and the capacity of ecosystems to adapt. Not all forests are equally at risk. Climate change vulnerability assessments for describe key impacts to forests within a particular ecoregion.
View vulnerability assessment for
Adaptation in Action
There is no single answer on how to best adapt to climate change, and adaptation responses will vary by location based upon the magnitude of climate impacts, the inherent resilience of ecosystems, and the values and resources of local communities. We have created resources to help land managers anticipate climate change impacts and identify adaptation actions.
- Learn more about our approach in Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers
- Explore real-world adaptation demonstration projects that have used this tool in planning, such as:
The Adaptation Workbook can help you consider the potential effects of climate change and design land management and conservation actions that can help prepare for changing conditions.
Work with Us
We provide training and technical assistance to natural resource professionals and land owners to support climate-informed land management. Examples of our work include:
- Assessing the vulnerability of forests to climate change.
- Organizing and facilitating workshops related to climate change impacts and ecosystem adaptation. In particular, Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices workshops provide active, hands-on training to help natural resources managers incorporate climate change considerations into their own real-world management projects.
- Identifying and developing tools to aid adaptation of forests to climate change.
- Developing real-world examples of climate-informed forest management across a variety of land types and ownerships.
There are so many resources on this topic that it can be hard to know where to start. We've created this list to feature our favorite resources. Want more? Use the Resource Finder to view more of what we've developed through the Climate Change Response Framework, or visit the Adaptation Workbook to discover even more!
- The USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub develops and delivers science-based, region-specific information and technologies to help natural resource managers and woodland owners integrate climate change information into planning, decision making, and management activities in order to sustain the diverse benefits from forests in a changing climate.
- The paper Vulnerability of Forests of the Midwest and Northeast United States to Climate Change provides a synthesis of regional climate impacts on forest ecosystems.
- The paper Adaptation Pathways: Ecoregion and Land Ownership Influences on Climate Adaptation Decision-Making in Forest Management looks across numerous adaptation demonstration projects to understand how ecoregion and land ownership affect how land managers select adaptation actions.
- The Northern Hardwoods checklist, summarized in Lessons from the Land: A New Approach to Use Site-Level Information to Guide Climate Adaptation