Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: Eagle River - Florence Invasives Project


Several actions have been identified to help reduce the impacts of invasive species, and these are graudally being implemented. 

Climate change is generally expected to increase opportunities for non-native and invasive species to thrive in Northwoods forests, but these impacts are hard to predict with certainty and they will depend on several interacting factors. The Invasive Species Program on the Eagle River/ Florence District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet has used the adaptation workbook to evaluate new challenges presented by climate change, and they have identified several actions to help adjust their work to address new and shifting threats. 


Contact: Stephen Handler

Left: A garlic mustard infestation in a forest. Photo courtesy: Steven Katovich.


Project Location and Partners

The Eagle River - Florence District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has an active Invasive Species Program. The goal of this program is generally to contain populations of non-native invasive plants and animals, which overlaps with many other goals and objectives for the Forest as a whole. Priority invasive species are controlled through active management where possible, sometimes in cooperation with the state of Wisconsin, counties, tribes, and other organizations. 

CNNF artwork

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers more than 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s Northwoods and has been a key partner in the Climate Change Response Framework since its inception. The adaptation work described here is just one of several activities underway on the Forest to show the wide variety of ways in which climate change considerations can be incorporated into sustainable forest and natural resource management activities. Learn more about  Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest's actions to respond to a changing climate.

Climate Change and Invasive Species

A team of natural resource managers from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest used the Adaptation Workbook from Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers to evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on priority invasive species. The potential effects of changing conditions on the Eagle River - Florence District Invasive Species Program include:

  • Altered distrubance regimes may provide increased opportunities for invasive species to become established 
  • Warmer temperatures may allow new invasive species to migrate into the area (e.g., hemlock woolly adelgid)
  • Non-native species may be more able to take advantage of longer growing seasons for growth and reproduction
  • Earlier springs will mean that effective treatment windows for invasive plants like garlic mustard will also shift earlier in the year 

Adaptation Actions

The Invasive Species Program staff identified several actions that could help adapt to climate change, while continuing to address the challenges presented by non-native invasive species. Several of these actions are listed below (not a comprehensive list).


Current Project Status

Natural resource managers on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest have considered how invasive species management may be affected by a changing climate. Many suggested adaptation activities are currently being planned and implemented on the National Forest, and these improvements will continue. 

Last updated: 4/4/2014