Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by capturing carbon dioxide and storing carbon within soils and forest biomass.
Forest management actions are necessary to support maintaining or enhancing the forest carbon sink, which offset about 15 percent of total U.S. fossil fuel emissions. Management actions can be designed to maintain existing carbon stocks or enhance sequestration capacity while providing co-benefits for other sustainable resource management objectives, such as timber supply, wildlife habitat, or water quality.
Adaptation in Action
There is no single answer on how to best adapt to climate change, and adaptation responses will vary by location based upon the magnitude of climate impacts, the inherent resilience of ecosystems, and the values and resources of local communities. We have created resources to help land managers anticipate climate change impacts and identify adaptation actions.
We have developed a set of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches designed specifically for forest carbon management. Drawing from a large body of scientific literature this menu is designed to be used with the Adaptation Workbook, this new resource will help managers understand and select from a wide variety of climate-informed actions that support carbon mitigation.
Find real-world adaptation demonstration projects that have used this tool in planning:
Watch a recorded presentation on the Strategies and approaches for managing forests for climate change and forest-carbon featuring Todd Ontl.
Work with Us
We provide training and technical assistance to natural resource professionals and land owners to support climate-informed land management. Examples of our work include:
- Working with American Forests to plan and facilitate learning labs to uncover land-section greenhouse gas mitigation options for natural and working lands
- Providing resources and training on forest carbon management
- Creating tools to support the adaptation of forests to climate change, while also considering carbon
- Develop real-world examples of how climate-informed management of forests can achieve goals related to carbon management
There are so many resources on this topic that it can be hard to know where to start. We've created this list to feature our favorite resources. Want more? Use the Resource Finder to view more of what we've developed through the Climate Change Response Framework, or visit the Adaptation Workbook to discover even more!
- Read the MassWoods landowner outreach publication Forest Carbon: an essential natural solution to climate change
- Watch a webinar: Forest Carbon Management and Climate Adaptation, from the NE Climate Adaptation webinar series, featuring Paul Catanzaro (UMass Amherst), Todd Ontl (NIACS), and Steve Hagenbuch (Audubon Vermont);
- Read topic pages and view carbon tools through the USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center
- USDA Publication, "Considering Forest and Grassland Carbon in Land Management"
- Learning module, "Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management" (USDA Forest Service)
- Read the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2): A Sustained Assessment Report. Chapter 9 - Forests.
- Learn in-depth information at Michigan State Universities' Understanding Forest Carbon Management, a self-paced, online professional short course (registration fee required)