Bayfield Regional Conservancy: Lincoln Community Forest

Yes
Action

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

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.

Project Area

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.

Management Goals

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

Climate Change Impacts

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.
Aquatic species could be affected by warmer temperatures
More extreme rainfall creating increased erosion
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.

Area/TopicApproachTactics
River Corridor
4.1. Prioritize and maintain unique sites.
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
Promote tree species that are expected to fare better under climate change, such as red oak or white pine, through planting
Plant white pine to enhance long-lived conifer component
Use opportunities to create refugia for hemlock
Upland Conifer
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
Promote long-lived conifers, with additional emphasis on species that are expected to fare better under climate change, such as white pine
Lowland Hardwoods
5.2. Maintain and restore diversity of native species.
Diversify stands through thinning, group selection, or other techniques
Aspens
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
Promote a cover type change toward native species that are expected to fare better under climate change using shelterwood harvest with site preparation and seedling underplanting
Upland Hardwoods
4.2. Prioritize and maintain sensitive or at-risk species or communities.
5.2. Maintain and restore diversity of native species.
9.1. Favor or restore native species that are expected to be adapted to future conditions.
9.4. Protect future-adapted seedlings and saplings.
Diversify tree species and age classes by increasing gab size in harvested areas
Promote red oak in areas where natural regeneration is occurring by using large group selection or shelterwood harvests
Promote white pine and other species that are expected to fare better under climate change; release of advance regeneration or plant seedlings when possible
Reserve high-quality pockets of hemlock to serve as refugia for that species

Project Documents

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact Maria

Keywords

Lowland/ bottomland hardwoods, Upland conifers, Upland hardwoods, Landscape-scale planning, Water resources

Last Updated

Tuesday, January 23, 2018