Lincoln Community Forest


A climate-informed management plan is guiding future forest management activities on the property.

Project Documents

The Bayfield Regional Conservancy worked with many partners to acquire land and create the region's first community forest. As the team developed a forest management plan for the community forest to comply with the Wisconsin Managed Forest Law, the potential effects of climate change on the area were considered and actions were identified to enhance the resilience of the forest under changing conditions. The forest management plan specifically outlines actions to help the forest adapt to changing conditions, which can serve as an example for other land owners.

Contact: Maria Janowiak

Project Location and Partners

The Bayfield Regional Conservancy recently acquired nearly 400 acres of forest land and 2 miles of river in Lincoln Township (Bayfield County, WI) from Plum Creek in December 2012, designating the area as the Lincoln Community Forest. The forest provides for fish and wildlife habitat conservation, fosters recreation opportunities to area residents, and serves as an example of sustainable forestry and restoration.  More information about the property and recent acquisition is available from the Ashland Daily Press.

Climate Change and the Lincoln Community Forest

The Lincoln Community Forest supports a variety of values that were identified as important by residents of the local community, including:

  • protection of water resources
  • protection of the environment
  • the rural character of the town
  • the preservation of woodlands

The Friends of Lincoln Community Forest group, which includes local residents, met to discuss the potential effects of climate change on the property. The potential for climate change to negatively affect the many northern tree species that are currently on the property, including sugar maple and hemlock, was regarded as a challenge for the forest in the future. Additionally, many changes were identified that could impact the Marengo River and other waters in the area. For example, aquatic species could be affected by warmer temperatures, more extreme rainfall that increases erosion, or reduced tree cover along stream edges.

Adaptation Actions

Climate change was identified as a forest management issue early in the development of the forest management plan and was considered throughout the process. Several adaptation actions were identified to help the community forest adapt to changing conditions.

Project Outcomes and Status

The Bayfield Regional Conservancy worked with its partners to develop forest plan (available below) that identifies action to diversify the forest to reduce future risks and enable the forest to adapt to changing conditions. This plan was completed in 2014, and management actions in aspen, northern hardwoods, and red pine stands have already begun.

Last Updated: 1/7/2015