The Northwoods region includes 64 million acres spanning northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan
Forests and other ecosystems in this region provide important cultural, economic, and environmental benefits. Warmer and more variable conditions are already having an impact on the region’s forests, including increasing damage from extreme precipitation events and insect pests. Future changes could dramatically alter the Northwoods landscape.
Vulnerability assessments describe climate change risks and opportunities for forests under a range of future climate scenarios. For each assessment we used two global climate models, three forest impact models, hundreds of scientific papers, and forest manager expertise were combined to assess the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. More than 30 scientists and forest managers contributed to each assessment.
We developed three vulnerability assessments for this region
We created quick reference guides on Northwoods forests and climate change that are designed to be used in the field. These field guides highlight key information from published Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessments and also help managers think about site-level considerations that affect climate change risks. We hope these guides will help keep climate change information at a manager's fingertips and inform intentional climate adaptation actions.
Climate Change Projections for Tree Species
The region's forests will be affected by a changing climate during this century, but individual tree species will respond uniquely to climate change, depending on their particular silvics and ecological tolerances. These handouts summarize general climate change projections for tree species across the region based on future projections. The general trends derived from these models can be combined with local knowledge and management experience to judge risk on a particular site.
- Northern Minnesota
- Northern Wisconsin
- Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan
- Eastern Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan
- "Driftless Area" of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa (Ecological Section 222L)
- Minnesota and Iowa Morainal Section (Ecological Section 222M)
- Southern Wisconsin
- Southern Michigan
Forest Climate and Action scorecards
These booklets are designed to help private landowners consider climate change in the context of their woods, and also to help landowners effectively talk with consulting foresters about their goals, potential risks, and actions they would like to take. This booklet contains four separate "Scorecards" to help landowners think about forests at a property-level, focused on topics such as forest diversity, structure, regeneration, and other factors. Each Scorecard is accompanied by a list of Climate-informed Actions that might help landowners address the greatest risks.
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The vulnerability assessment provides critical information about how climate change is expected to affect this region and serves as a starting point for other Framework activities.