Ottawa National Forest: Pori Project


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.

Project Area

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

Management Goals

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.

Climate Change Impacts

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.

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.

Aspen Forest
5.2. Maintain and restore diversity of native species.
Diversify some aspen stands with more drought tolerant species like red oak and jack pine, especially on droughty soils where regeneration of aspen may be difficult under future conditions
Use of adaptive management for stands being converted back to aspen--if aspen does not regenerate with desired density, replant with red oak, bur oak, and white pine
Northern Hardwood Forest
5.2. Maintain and restore diversity of native species.
9.5. Disfavor species that are distinctly maladapted.
Promote diversity within hardwood stands by selecting against sugar maple (already being done)
Use canopy gaps to promote mid-tolerant species such as yellow birch, black cherry, and white pine
Create or maintain nurse logs to promote hemlock within hardwood stands
Riparian Areas
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
Include more drought and heat tolerant species (ex. American elm Princeton cultivar, bur oak) for riparian planting that can provide long term large tree character, stream shading, and large woody material by retaining in harvesting and planting
Stream Crossings
1.2. Maintain or restore hydrology.
1.3. Maintain or restore riparian areas.
7.1. Reduce landscape fragmentation.
Plan for larger and flashier floods by increasing culvert size to withstand a 100-year flood event or greater while installing culverts that allow for aquatic organism passage

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact Stephen


Drought, Flooding, Lowland/ bottomland hardwoods, Upland conifers, Upland hardwoods

Last Updated

Tuesday, January 23, 2018