When a landowner joins a Woodlots group, Cold Hollow to Canada is able to offer a Climate Change Analysis for each parcel, with support from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.
These Climate Change Analyses are based on a landowner's current management plan. A forester reviews the management plan, looking for strategies already included that will help forests adapt to a changing climate and sequester additional carbon. For example, management that focuses on enhancing species and structural diversity can help a forest respond to changing conditions. A focus on hydrology or restoration of soil quality can enhace the forest's ability to store carbon. Once the forester has summarized the strategies already employed, she can also look for additional opportunities to prepare the forest for a changing climate.
In addition to distributing reports to individual Woodlots landowners, Cold Hollow to Canada summarizes the reports for presentation back to the Woodlots groups, so that the group can together understand how the management implemented by each individual fits together at a landscape level. In addition, strategies employed by each landowner are showcased during Woodlots gatherings, so that others can see and understand how the strategy is being used, in context. Together, each Woodlots group can then begin to understand the role they collectively play in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Climate Change Analyses have also been used to support applications for funding stewardship work, such as through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This allows landowners to implement the suggestions identified through the analyses.
Cold Hollow to Canada used the model presented by the Climate Change Response Framework as a basis for these Climate Change Analyses. This is a project of the the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science and partners. Our project is now presented as a demonstration project through this larger network.
Below are the 10 overarching strategies included in Climate Change Analyses. When a report is presented to a landowner, it includes details on how each strategy is already being carried out, with suggestions for future land stewardship.
- Sustain Fundamental Ecological functions
- Reduce the impact of existing biological stressors
- Protect forests from severe fire and wind disturbance
- Maintain or create Refugia
- Maintain and enhance species diversity and structural diversity
- Increase ecosystem redundancy across the landscape
- Promote landscape connectivity
- Enhance genetic diversity
- Facilitate community adjustments through species transitions
- Plan for and respond to disturbance