Huron Pines: Cummings Farm Restoration


Huron Pines staff have completed the Adaptation Workbook and prepared a set of climate-informed restoration recommendations for a private landowner. 

Project Documents

Huron Pines is a non-profit conservation organization that serves landowners in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula. Through their Private Lands Stewardship program, they work directly with private landowners to make effective management decisions focusing on a number of goals – restoration, invasive species control, wildlife habitat enhancement, forest health improvement, and many more.  In this project, Huron Pines staff are providing climate change adaptation recommendations to a private landowner as part of a complex restoration and agricultural project.  

Contact: Stephen Handler


Right: Future wetland restoration site at Cummings Farm. Photo credit: Emily Cook, HeadWaters Land Conservancy


Project Location and Goals

The Cummings Farm is located north of Mio, in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  The landowner has several goals for the property, including organic farming and forest restoration.  Specifically, Huron Pines is helping to develop a tree-planting project, prepare a silvopastoral forest management plan, restore a creek and wetland, and remove invasive species. 


Climate Change Impacts

Staff from the Huron Pines used the Adaptation Workbook from Forest Adaptation Resources to evaluate the potential climate change impacts for the Cummings Farm project in particular. Potential climate change impacts that are of major interest to the management goals of this property include:

  • Altered hydrology from shifting precipitation patterns, more intense rainfall events, and warmer winters will impact the flow regime that can be expected in the restored riparian and wetland areas.
  • Invasive species may have increasing opportunities to establish in forests and pastureland, due to longer growing seasons, warmer temperatures, and shifting disturbance regimes. This is particularly a concern at the Cummings Farm due to the proximity to the road and the fragmentation of the surrounding landscape. 

Adaptation Actions

Huron Pines staff were able to identify several adaptation actions that could be added to the proposed plan for the Cummings Farm. Examples include:

  • Focus tree-planting on a diverse mix of native species projected to be favored under climate change (red pine, white pine, red maple), as well as southern species that may do well under future conditions.
  • Create a small refuge area for wetland species when restoring stream and wetland (mix of shrubs, grasses, sedges, and trees)
  • Consider prescribed burns to help eradicate invasive species

Project Outcomes & Status

Huron Pines staff completed the Adaptation Workbook at a Forest Adaptation Planning & Practices training in February 2014. These ideas are currently being incorporated into the comprehensive conservation plan for Cummings Farm.


Last updated: 4/11/2014