Mark Twain National Forest, Fremont: Pineknot East Restoration Project


This project is part of a national program to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes that would restore and enhance resilient and functioning shortleaf pine/oak woodland communities. Mark Twain National Forest staff members completed the Adaptation Workbook exercise in January 2014 following a formal scoping period and are currently working to incorporate this information into an Environmental Assessment as part of the NEPA process.

The Fremont and Pineknot East project is part of a collaborative landscape restoration project known as the Missouri Pine-Oak Woodland Restoration Project (MoPWR). This is part of a national program to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes that would restore and enhance resilient and functioning shortleaf pine/oak woodland communities. Over the next ten years MoPWR project will implement a variety of integrated management activities designed to restore over 88,000 acres of National Forest System lands within the pine and pine/oak-bluestem woodlands of the Current River and Cane Ridge Pinery areas.

Project Area

The Fremont-Pineknot East Restoration Project is one of two environmental assessments that will be completed within the larger Missouri Pine-Oak Woodland Restoration Project. It consists of two distinct areas, Fremont (38,561 acres) and Pineknot East (9,538 acres) that are similar in land form and vegetative character (see map). This is a collaborative project where the Mark Twain is working together with partners from the Missouri Department of Conservation, L-A-D foundation, and private lands to achieve mutually-beneficial goals.

Management Goals

The purpose of this project is to restore and enhance fire-adapted pine and pine-oak bluestem woodlands to their full range of historic vegetation composition and structural conditions which occurred under natural disturbance regimes (fire, drought). This project is needed because resiliency, integrity, and sustainability of these ecosystems on the Mark Twain National Forest could be compromised if current conditions, such as dense canopy cover, high tree densities, and lack of fire are allowed to continue.


More information can be found here:

Climate Change Impacts

According to the majority of climate models and a recently completed vulnerability assessment for the Central Hardwoods Region, these climate change impacts are expected in the Missouri Ozarks region by the end of the century:
Mean annual temperature increases from 2 °F to 7 °F.
Increased precipitation in winter and spring and potential declines in summer.
Increased frequency and severity of wildfire.

Challenges and Opportunities


Historical logging and grazing reduced the amount of shortleaf pine in the area and led to an increase in closed-canopy forests and woodlands dominated by scarlet and black oak. This canopy structure is inhibiting the regeneration of shortleaf pine.
Black and scarlet oak are projected to be negatively affected by changes in climate, especially if summers become much hotter and drier.


Model results across a range of climate scenarios project that climate conditions will favorable for shortleaf pine.

Adaptation Actions

Staff from the Mark Twain National Forest used Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers to identify actions to enhance the adaptive capacity of ecosystems in the project area.

Below are a few examples of broad adaptation approaches and specific tactics that are proposed to enhance the adaptive capacity of the project area in the face of a changing climate:

Shortleaf Pine/Oak Woodlands
1.5. Restore or maintain fire in fire-adapted ecosystems.
3.1. Alter forest structure or composition to reduce risk or severity of wildfire.
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
9.5. Disfavor species that are distinctly maladapted.
Move fire condition class 2 & 3 lands toward fire class 1 using moderate-intensity ignitions
Remove aging black and scarlet oak that are experiencing decline and are projected to do poorly under some climate scenarios
Restore shortleaf pine and associated species that are projected to do well under multiple forest models
Using restoration and commercial thinning, reduce basal area to 30-60 sq. ft., targeting low quality and declining black and scarlet oak

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact Leslie


Oak, Fire and fuels

Last Updated

Tuesday, January 23, 2018