We have identified exemplary forest stewardship practices that we promote among landowners who are part of our Woodlots Program to help them meet financial, societal, and ecological goals. These practices can be applied while managing for timber, maple sugar production, carbon sequestration, water, wildlife habitat, access, and scenic beauty. While respecting the forest stewardship goals of individual landowners, successful landscape-level stewardship encourages management activities that take into account and operate on a landscape scale.
Landowners can furthermore enhance the well-being of the planet by managing their forests using climate change adaptation strategies. This includes managing for diversity of plant and animal species. It also involves increasing diversity of forest structure by promoting different age classes while growing larger, longer-lived trees. Such strategies keep the forest connected and intact, capturing and storing carbon, and better able to respond to the impacts brought about by climate change. Additionally, the implementation of these strategies can result in higher value timber products, and introduce carbon as a monetized forest product, which we are piloting in Vermont through our Forest Carbon Aggregation project.
Our sustainable stewardship activities are wedded to our goals around forestland conservation; as landowners become more connected to their land through sustainable stewardship practices, incentives for permanent conservation expand.
Through the replication of the Woodlots Program across the Northern Forest, individual landowners manage their forestland for the benefit of the broader forest community and with a focus on climate resiliency.
Photo by Liza Morse