Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Our interactions and activities in the Framework: 

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) has supported the original pilot Climate Change Response Framework project in northern Wisconsin since 2009. Linda Parker is the CNNF's Forest Ecologist and also serves the Climate Change Coordinator for the CNNF.  The CNNF is involved in many ongoing efforts associated with this project, as described in the 2013-2014 Climate Change Work Plan


The Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Climate Change Response Framework Project in northern Wisconsin was published in 2011. This assessment evaluates key forest ecosystem vulnerabilities to climate change across northern Wisconsin under a range of future climate scenarios. A second version that will incorporate new information is currently in progress. A second version of a Mitigation Assessment is currently in progress.


The Shared Landscapes Initiative was established to provide a long-term forum to share landscape-scale adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on open communication and cooperation. The CNNF continues to maintain membership in the steering committee and working groups.


A Climate Change Science Roundtable was established, including federal, state, non-governmental, and academic researchers to provide scientific perspective to incubate climate change science within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The CNNF maintains engagement with the Climate Change Science Roundtable. Feedback obtained from the Roundtable, forest type “experts”, and others contributed to the development and revision of Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers.


  • EDUCATIONAL PANELS - Three traveling panels describe climate change in the Great Lakes and display regional efforts to address climate change. These panels visited every district on the CNNF in the Summer of 2011 and have visited Washington, D.C., the Upper Peninsula State Fair, and many other events. These panels can be borrowed for outreach and educational events by contacting Patricia Butler. To reach even more audiences, a foldable brochure handout was created from the panels, and a special CNNF insert was created to reach local audiences around the CNNF.
  • EMPLOYEE EDUCATION - The CNNF Forest Supervisor has informed all staff about climate change activities on the CNNF. Climate Change Road Shows conducted during May-June 2011 provided additional information to district-level staff. Presentations provided relevant information on climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and how managers can respond to climate change. Road shows also provided a platform for staff to begin discussion and brainstorming on potential Demonstration and Implementation Activities (see Demonstration and Implementation Activities, below).
  • FOREST ADAPTATION RESOURCES (FAR) - Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers builds upon the other components - partnerships, vulnerability assessments, and demonstration projects - of the Climate Change Response Framework to provide adaptation information and tools that are relevant to the forests throughout the eastern US and beyond. Although the focus of the first version is on northern Wisconsin forests, the resources in this document are readily applicable to forest ecosystems throughout the Great Lakes, and broadly applicable to any forested landscape.
  • DEMONSTRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES - Demonstration projects and activities for climate change response will help to develop internal capacity for evaluating and implementing adaptation tactics in the next few years, while also working towards a longer-term approach for climate change response on the CNNF. Implementation in the near-term will provide a “proof of concept” and important lessons for future activities. Each District Ranger is developing a climate change demonstration activity of their choosing to be implemented on their district. Examples of these project include watershed restoration and aspen forest management.
  • INTERNAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS - An internal guidance document, Moving Forward: Setting a Course for Climate Change Response on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, is designed to link existing resources on the CNNF and set out an approach for moving forward on climate change adaptation in the near-term. This direction is a companion to the FAR and would build upon lessons learned through the Demonstration and Implementation Activities.
Our broader climate change activities and perspectives: 


The CNNF participated in the Forestry, Wildlife, and Water working groups of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. Information and partnerships developed during the synthesis of Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation are being incorporated into guidance development, future assessments and other collaborative efforts on and outside the CNNF.


The CNNF plans to include climate change as new information in the 5-year Monitoring & Evaluation for the Forest Plan. The "Top 5" most critical monitoring needs in terms of climate change vulnerabilities will be identified, and cooperation with partners will result in the synthesis of long-term trend detection in the monitoring programs. 


A final draft assessment should be completed soon.  Relevent results will be incorporated into the second version of the ecosystem vulnerability assessment, and a second WICCI water assessment. Watch the Watershed Vulnerability Assessment #3 webinar presented by Dale Higgins to learn more about the results.   


The CNNF partnered with the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, UW-Extension office (read a news article here), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, National Park Service and the Wisconsin State Historical Society to create a new exhibit that examines the possible cultural and natural resource impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes region. The exhibit, titled “Changing Climate….Changing Culture,” recently opened at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC) near Ashland. The exhibit is the first part of the Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) Culture and Climate Change (“G’WOW” for short) initiative.


 Climate Wisconsin is an educational multimedia project featuring stories of climate change. All stories are supported by research conducted in collaboration with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. In addition to viewing the videos at Climate Wisconsin, stories can be streamed and downloaded on Teachers’ Domain, a free digital media service for educational use.


  • CARBON MODEL - modeling carbon budgets in large terrestrial ecosystemsVisit Dr. Stith Tom Gower's website for more information.
  • ChEAS - the Chequamegon Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study is a multi-organizational research effort studying biosphere/atmosphere interactions within a northern mixed forest in Northern Wisconsin. A primary goal is to understand the processes controlling forest-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide and the response of these processes to climate change. ChEAS sites are primarily located within or near the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin, with one site in the Ottawa National Forest in the upper peninsula of Michigan. The ChEAS flux towers participate in AmeriFlux, and the region is an EOS-validation site. The WLEF tower is a NOAA-CMDL CO2 sampling site.
  • LANDIS II FOREST LANDSCAPE MODEL - Dr. David Mladenoff's Landscape Ecology Lab at UW-Madison supports numerous research projects in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. In particular, LANDIS-II simulates forest succession, disturbance (including fire, wind, harvesting, insects), climate change, and seed dispersal across large (typically 10,000 - 20,000,000 ha) landscapes. LANDIS-II tracks the spatial distribution of discrete tree and shrub species and has flexible spatial and temporal resolutions. Results from LANDIS-II modeling was incorporated into the Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis and will be incorporated in the second version of the assessment. 


The Green Team annually strives to make progress toward achieving sustainable operations requirements to reduce the environmental footprint of daily operations. 


The CNNF is working to expand collaboration with the Upper Midwest & Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). They are also partnering with The Nature Conservance and the U.S. Geological Survey to develop the Great Lakes Information Management and Delivery System (a LCC Project).

To learn more about the CNNF and its climate change activities, contact Linda Parker (Forest Ecologist, and the Climate Change Coordinator for the CNNF).