Gogebic County - Mosinee Grouse Enhanced Management System

Yes
Action

Gogebic County Forestry and Parks Commission and the Gogebic Conservation District evaluated climate change risks and adaptation opportunities for an on-going wildlife habitat management project.  

Project Documents

The Gogebic County Forestry and Parks Commission manages roughly 50,000 acres of forestland, most of which is managed to provide multiple benefits to the public.  The Mosinee Grouse Management area covers over 1,100 acres, and it will be managed for early-successional habitat to support ruffed grouse, woodcock, deer, and snowshoe hare.  This site is one of several Grouse Enhanced Management System sites across Michigan, which will increase opportunities for hunting, wildlife viewing, and supporting local economies.



Project Location and Partners

The Mosinee Grouse Management Area is located about 5 miles south of Wakefield, MI, in the western Upper Peninsula.

The Forestry Assistance Program District Forester for Gogegic County and a Michigan State University Extension forester initially reviewed the management plan for the Mosinee Grouse Management Area, using the Adaptation Workbook at a 2015 Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices workshop.  The Gogebic County forester reviewed their ideas and discussed the project with NIACS and decided to share this work as an adaptation demonstration project.



Climate Change Risks and Opportunities

The FAP District Forester and MSU Extension forester considered broad climate change trends that are expected for northern Michigan forests and the site conditions across the property. They identified several risks associated with climate change, as well as several opportunities.  Some of these include:

  • Several northern hardwood species may benefit from warmer, drier conditions, including northern red oak
  • The climate in this local area is strongly influenced by Lake Superior, including heavy lake-effect snowfall and relatively moderate temperatures.
  • Warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons could combine to reduce soil moisture in this project area.  This could be particularly stressful for quaking aspen, which is at risk of decline.
  • More frequent heavy precipitation events could make it difficult to access portions of this area for summer harvest, and cause erosion along hunting and walking trails.



Adaptation Actions

After considering the menu of adaptation strategies and approaches from the Adaptation Workbook and comparing the management actions outlined in the Mosinee GEMS Management Plan (below), the foresters found several win-win opportunities. Several aspects of the management plan also can be expected to have benefits for climate change adaptation. Additionally, having frequent entries into this site will ensure regular monitoring and provide more opportunities to adjust management actions as conditions dictate.  Some of the adaptation actions being implemented in this project include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Project Status

The Management Plan for the Mosinee GEMS site was completed in February 2015. The Forestry Assistance Program District Forester and a Michigan State University Extension forester initially reviewed the management plan for the Mosinee Grouse Management Area, using the Adaptation Workbook at a 2015 Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices workshop. Management actions specified in the plan started in summer 2015, although some stands within the project area had been previously harvested as recently as the winter of 2014/2015.