Over the years, blizzards, nor’easters, hurricanes and wind storms, disease, insect pests, drought, and deer browse have taken a toll on the trees (both conifers and deciduous) leading to dead and dying trees, forest structure with little to no understory, over-mature conifers, and fire and safety hazards.
The following goals are guiding forest management decisions at Hoffman Preserve:
- Support a diverse and resilient coastal forest
- Develop best management practices for the preserve given regional climate change projections
- Provide food and cover for a greater number and variety of wildlife species
- Engage in public outreach and education
Hoffman Evergreen Preserve is a favored hiking and passive recreation spot, so public outreach before, during and after management activities is key. The intention is to promote understanding of management goals and adaptation tactics for the preserve. A webinar series was held in the Spring of 2021 to educate the public on forests and climate change topics. Signage for the preserve has been developed and will be posted the Fall of 2021. Volunteers will be engaged in the planting of trees and shrubs in patch cuts, thinned areas, and skid trails.
Challenges and Opportunities
Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:
7.1 Favor or restore non-invasive species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
1.4. Reduce competition for moisture, nutrients, and light.
2.2. Prevent the introduction and establishment of invasive plant species and remove existing invasive species.
5.2. Maintain and restore diversity of native species.
8.1. Use seeds, germplasm, and other genetic material from across a greater geographic range.
9.2. Establish or encourage new mixes of native species.
9.3. Guide changes in species composition at early stages of stand development.
9.4. Protect future-adapted seedlings and saplings.
9.7. Introduce species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.