Mark Twain National Forest Fremont-Pineknot East Restoration Project

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Planning

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.

Contact: Leslie Brandt

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 Location and Partners 

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.

Climate Change and the Mark Twain National Forest     

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.

These climatic changes will affect local ecosystems on the Mark Twain National Forest. 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. Model results across a range of climate scenarios project that climate conditions will favorable for shortleaf pine; however, the current canopy structure is inhibiting its regeneration. In addition, black and scarlet oak are projected to be negatively affected by changes in climate, especially if summers become much hotter and drier. 

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:

Adaptation approaches and tactics developed by Mark Twain staff

Current Project Status

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

Last updated April, 2014.