• Start-up
  • Planning
  • Action
  • Evaluation
The New England Forestry Foundation is considering climate change as part of its management on this demonstration forest.

Project Area

The New England Forestry Foundation manages more than 29,000 acres of forestland in the region, striving to demonstration sustainable forestry for the region’s many landowners. The Chase Kimball and Mary Lee Evens Kimball Memorial Forest was donated to NEFF in the 1990s and has been managed in the intervening years for a variety of goals related to timber and wildlife habitat. The property is 170 acres and contains a variety of oak, maple, and mixed wood forests along with wetlands. It is adjacent to state forest and parkland, making up part of a larger forested block.

Management Goals

A forest management plan outlines future management for the property, and major goals include:

  • long-term production of high quality sawtimber and other forest products, with an increase in the quality of standing timber
  • Provide a variety of wildlife habitat and protect wetlands and water quality
  • Maintain a stand of mature and over-mature white pine as a softwood inclusion within a hardwood dominated forest to provide forest type and wildlife habitat diversity
  • Reduce the impact of deer on regenerating desirable commercial tree species
  • Stop the spread of existing invasive plants, including barberry, and competing plants, such as ferns and mountain laurel
  • Promote regeneration and growth of native plants and trees to support native wildlife species

Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change will present challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of this project, including:

Challenges

Shorter, warmer and wetter winter seasons will reduce access and operability for forest harvesting and management activities
Some tree species, such as white pine and sugar maple, are at risk of declining if the climate becomes much warmer. Any loss of white pine would reduce the important softwood cover that adds diversity to the landscape.
Climate change is expected to exacerbate current management challenges associated with invasive plants and heavy deer herbivory.

Opportunities

Most tree species expected to persist or increase with climate change, as long as the forest remains healthy

Adaptation Actions

The Adaptation Workbook was used to consider some potential adaptation actions that may be implemented in a future harvest. These options are being evaluated regarding their anticipated effectiveness, cost of implementation, and other factors specific to this property, such as visual impacts.

Area/Topic
Approach
Tactics
Entire forest
Encourage regeneration in Stand 1 by conducting a shelterwood or seed-tree harvest.
Salvage harvest in Stand 2 to salvage the value of oak that have died as a result of repeated gypsy moth defoliation.
Install fencing in some areas following timber harvest to protect natural regeneration from deer browse.
Plant tree species that are expected to do well on the site in the future, and use tree tubes or other devices to protect planted trees from deer browse.
Include coniferous species as part of post-harvest planting, or plant in other areas (e.g., along wetland edges) to enhance wildlife habitat. Consider fencing or tree tubes to protect trees from deer browse.
Protect existing pine stand from harvesting, and consider regenerating in small patches as part of next management intervention.
Treat existing invasives ahead of planned timber harvest and monitor for new populations of invasive species for early control.
Work with loggers to minimize site impacts; be more flexible given short/unpredictable windows on harvest conditions.

Monitoring

Several monitoring items were identified that could help inform future management, including the abundance and control/spread of invasive plant species; the success of natural regeneration; the success of planting; and the effectiveness of deer exclusion.

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact
Maria
.

Keywords

Forest threats
Insect pests
Invasive species
Planting
Regeneration

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