Guest Post provided by Eli Roberts of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation
Forests are always changing. Most trees grow larger each year; some die. Seeds spread in many ways, and they become new trees, or food for other creatures. Weather changes across days, seasons, and years. It has always made sense to keep these changes in mind as you consider how to best manage your woods. But climate change complicates this variability, even as it makes managing forests more important.
The climate—the patterns of weather over time—is changing in the upper Delaware River Region. We are seeing warmer, wetter winters, more frequent heavy rains, hotter summers, and more variable weather. These changes have been happening over the last several decades, and are projected to intensify over the coming years.
This woodland adaptation guide details how forests are likely to change over the next several decades and describes actions you can take as a landowner or resource manager. It’s meant to be a useful menu of management activities; much of what you do will depend on your specific goals, situation, and forest. Most of the recommendations are elements of good forest management, regardless of a changing climate. As weather becomes more variable from historic patterns, healthy and diverse forests will be better able to withstand the more frequent stresses associated with climate change.
Download the full guide here.
You can also download two-page summary documents with state-specific resource links for NJ, NY, or PA.
Follow the links to connect with resources on forest ecology and management, and find people—either at state agencies, nonprofits, or in private consulting—who can help you practice better forest management to keep your woods healthy in the face of climate change and other challenges.
State forestry departments
Forestry extension offices
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Online information and planning tools
LandServer (in PA)
My Land Plan (PA, NY, NJ)
Adaptation Workbook (any state, relevant for people with management plans)
Find a forester
Association of Consulting Foresters directory
Society of American Foresters directory
The Forest Stewards Guild directory
US Department of Agriculture list of Technical Service Providers
Land stewardship, estate planning, and conservation easement information
Delaware Highlands Conservancy