Ottawa National Forest - Pori Project

Yes
Planning

The potential effects of climate change are being evaluated for the forests in this project area.

The Pori Junction Vegetative Management Project is a multiple resources management project being proposed by the Ottawa National Forest that includes timber, wildlife, and riparian projects.  It is primarily designed to promote a healthy and resilient forest ecosystem based on goals and objectives of the Ottawa National Forest Land and Resources Management Plan.

This project will help the project team consider what kind of vegetation management actions might also help the forests and ecosystems adapt to future changes and respond to ecosystem vulnerabilities.  This project will also provide a real-world example of how forest management can enhance adaptation to climate change.

Contact:  Maria Janowiak

Project Location

The project is located in both Ontonagon and Houghton Counties, Michigan in the northeast portion of the Ottawa National Forest. 

Climate Change and the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The potential effects of future climate on the northern hardwood forests in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan include:

  • Warmer temperatures, including 2-12 ºF in winter months.
  • Changing precipitation patterns, with a net change towards drier growing season conditions.
  • More frequent intense rainfall and changes in spring snowmelt could increase run-off and lead to greater risk of erosion on steep slopes and riparian areas in the project area.
  • Future conditions may increase risks from wildfire, invasive species, and insects and disease.

Potential Outcomes

A team of natural resource specialists from the ONF evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on several forest types in the project area and considered how the original project objectives and proposals might be adjusted.  The team also developed a variety of actions that could enhance forest adaptation to climate change under a  wide range of future conditions – in particular protection of riparian areas and cold water trout streams.   NIACS facilitated this discussion, using the Adaptation Workbook from Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers.  The Ottawa National Forest will continue to consider how a changing climate may affect natural resources and future projects on the Forest.

Adaptation Actions

Many actions were identified that could help achieve current management goals for the project area, as well as enhance the ability of the forests to adapt to future conditions.  Several of the proposed adaptation activities are discussed below.  Note that a final decision on these activities will not occur until stakeholder input is considered and the environmental review process is completed.

Current Project Status and Next Steps:

Ottawa National Forest resource specialists completed the workbook in March of 2013 during the initial planning phases of the project.  The project team is currently completing environmental analysis for the project.  An Environmental Assessment is expected to be published in spring 2014. A more formal project proposal is anticipated to be distributed for public comment in late summer 2013. Project information is available online.

Last Updated: 1/21/2014