Nacogdoches Lake in Texas shown during the drought of 2011.

Although drought has always played a role in reshaping forests, it is becoming a more significant forest stressor as a result of climate change. There’s plenty of recent evidence that it’s already having a dramatic effect on the nation’s forests, and various climate change scenarios predict that the frequency and intensity of droughts will increase over time. In coniferous forests of the Western United States, for example, tree mortality rates are on the rise, likely due to regional warming and water deficits. The same is true in Canada’s boreal forest to the north.

What does this mean for a forest landowner? Forces outside your direct control may be slowly changing the type and composition of forest on your property, affecting timber, recreation, wildlife habitat, watershed protection and other eco services provided by healthy woodlands.

What can you do about it? The terms “resilient” has become a favorite of foresters looking to describe what our forests need to become in order to cope with the threat of drought and related stresses. In this section, find out how drought affects forests, and what you can do to mitigate these affects by managing your woodlands for resiliency.

Read more at the American Forest Foundation's My Land Plan website! https://mylandplan.org/content/drought