Demonstration Projects

Demonstration projects are real-world examples of how managers have integrated climate considerations into forest management planning and activities. These projects use the partnerships and resources developed through the Framework to test new ideas and actions for responding to changing conditions. Demonstrations come in all shapes and sizes, showing a variety of adaptation actions that also achieve forest management goals.

Demonstration projects help achieve the intent of the Climate Change Response Framework to support “climate smart” conservation and forest management by testing new ideas and actions, building partnerships, and providing information that can feed into future activities. They engage land owners, forest managers, and the science community in discussion of the potential effects of climate change and solutions to those impacts. Demonstration projects are essential in helping land managers to gain experience in working on climate change issues by focusing on a specific location and set of management issues. The broader ideas and lessons learned can later be used to inform management on a broader scale.

A network of demonstration projects is under development. These projects will engage a variety of land owners, forest managers, and other stakeholders by focusing in a particular location. These groups will identify adaptation actions that will enhance the ability of forests in that place to cope with change and sustain ecological functions and key services. Currently, demonstration projects are in development in the Northwoods (link to Northwoods demo page). Additional demonstration projects will be initiated in other areas after vulnerability assessments and adaptation resources are developed.

  • Rajala Companies manages tens of thousands of acres of forestland across northern Minnesota, in addition to their own lumber and veneer mills. As a 4th-generation family business, they've witnessed a great deal of change across the landscape and try to plan for the long term, both in terms of running a business and managing sustainable forests. Preparing for the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change is now part of that long-term vision. In this project, the Rajalas are exploring how climate-informed forest management can be integrated into an existing Forest Stewardship Plan. This project will illustrate how adapting to climate change can make good business sense as well as ecological sense.

    Northwoods, Stephen, Action, Demonstration Projects, Private, Upland hardwoods, Management plan, MN, Regeneration

  • Northeastern Area (NA), the State & Private Forestry branch of the US Forest Service in our region, is interested to use the Forest Stewardship program as a mechanism to help private landowners prepare for a changing climate. NA and NIACS helped to fund this example of climate-informed Forest Stewardship planning and implementation in Minnesota. The Nelson family near Hinckley, MN, worked with a Minnesota DNR foresters to prepare a new Stewardship Plan that accounts for climate change. The Minnesota DNR provided matching funds for the project.



    Assisted migration, Northwoods, Stephen, Lowland/ bottomland hardwoods, Action, Demonstration Projects, Private, Upland hardwoods, Management plan, MN, Planting, Recreation

  • The Ottawa National Forest developed the Interior Project to accomplish a variety of goals within a contiguous area. More information about the project as a whole is available on the Ottawa NF...

    Federal, Northwoods, Planning, Demonstration Projects, MI

  • The Leelanau Conservancy is a non-profit land trust operating in the Leelanau Peninsula in northwestern lower Michigan. They focus on protecting forests, farms, lakeshores, and riparian areas through conservation easements and a portfolio of 23 established natural areas and preserves. For this project, Conservancy staff focused on climate change impacts and adaptation options for one particular forest preserve.



    Northwoods, Stephen, Action, Demonstration Projects, Invasive species, NGO, Upland hardwoods, MI, Planting

  • Huron Pines is a non-profit conservation organization that serves landowners in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula. Through their Private Lands Stewardship program, they work directly with...

    Northwoods, Planning, Demonstration Projects, Private, MI

  • The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) manages a relatively small land base in southwestern Michigan called the Pine Creek Reservation. For this project, tribal natural resources...

    Northwoods, Planning, Demonstration Projects, Tribal, MI

  • Vermont’s landscape contains a diversity of forest types, which provide important wildlife habitat. Just as trees and forests are likely altered as a result of a changing climate, many wildlife...

    New England, Planning, State, Demonstration Projects, VT

  • Shawano County, located in east-central Wisconsin, recently completed a Forest Stewardship Management Plan to describe desired forestry activities on county lands for the next 25 years. Roughly...

    Northwoods, Planning, County, Demonstration Projects, WI

  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is a 550-acre park located east of Vermont's Green Mountains. The Park contains the Mount Tom Forest, which is the oldest surviving example of...

    Federal, New England, Planning, Demonstration Projects, VT

  • The Ottawa National Forest is proposing a forest-wide project to manage for early-successional aspen. Staff from the Ottawa NF have considered how to continue to meet the management objectives...

    Federal, Northwoods, Planning, Demonstration Projects, MI