Leelanau Conservancy: Krumwiede Forest Reserve


Conservancy staff completed the Adaptation Workbook at a NIACS Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices training in 2014, and adaptation actions are being incorporated into the property's management plan. One of the adaptation actions identified in this project has been accomplished with the purchase of a new conservation property - Palmer Woods, a 707-acre forest, now connects the Krumweide Forest Reserve to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore! 

The Leelanau Conservancy is a non-profit land trust operating in the Leelanau Peninsula in northwestern lower Michigan. They focus on protecting forests, farms, lakeshores, and riparian areas through conservation easements and a portfolio of 23 established natural areas and preserves. For this project, Conservancy staff focused on climate change impacts and adaptation options for one particular forest preserve.

Project Area

The Krumwiede Forest Reserve is one of the signature forest reserves managed by the Leelanau Conservancy. The 110-acre property is managed as a working forest under a conservation easement established in 1997. A special feature of the property is its proximity to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - less than a mile separates this property from the National Lakeshore.

Management Goals

The Conservancy has several goals for the property, including maintaining forested habitats for native plants and animals; managing for a diverse, all-aged forest; producing wood products; and protecting water quality and functioning of wetlands, riparian areas, and vernal ponds. 

Climate Change Impacts

Leelanau Conservancy Staff used the Adaptation Workbook from Forest Adaptation Resources to evaluate the potential climate change impacts for the Krumwiede Forest Reserve 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 longer growing seasons will impact soil moisture, leading to drier conditions in the late summer.
Invasive species may have increasing opportunities to establish in forests, due to longer growing seasons, warmer temperatures, and shifting disturbance regimes.
Habitat suitability will likely improve for some southern, temperate tree species such as black locust, black cherry, and oak species. Other species are likely to decline, such as ash, beech, and hemlock.
Proximity to Lake Michigan may moderate some of the projected temperature increases.

Adaptation Actions

Conservancy staff were able to identify several adaptation actions that could be added to the proposed plan for the Krumwiede Forest Preserve. Examples include:

Entire property
1.1 Reduce impacts to soils and nutrient cycling.
Follow BMPs during forest harvest operations to prevent soil erosion on steep slopes.
Aspen stand
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
Convert aspen stand to a dry-mesic community that may be better adapted to future conditions. Underplant and favor species including black cherry, white pine, bitternut hickory, red oak, and white oak.
Black locust
9.2. Establish or encourage new mixes of native species.
Allow existing black locust clone to mature to harvestable size, underplant with black walnut and black cherry.
Surrounding landscape
7.2. Maintain and create habitat corridors through reforestation or restoration.
Develop habitat corridors by identifying and protecting additional forest land between this property and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Project Photos

Click to enlarge photos

Next Steps

This project page will be updated at management goes forward on the property. Leelanau Conservancy is also thinking about how to incorporate climate change adaptation into higher-level strategic planning. The board is updating the Conservancy's strategic plan, and they are considering adding specific language to include climate-aware decision-making in new management plans and plan updates for their properties.

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact Stephen or learn more at: http://leelanauconservancy.org/blog/naturalarea/krumwiede-forest-reserve/


Invasive species, Upland hardwoods, Planting

Last Updated

Tuesday, October 25, 2016