Whether you spend time outside in your woods, or just enjoy the beauty of your trees and wildlife from your window, you likely love your woods and want to keep them healthy. Forests are always changing and adapting to new conditions. Some changes are as anticipated as the progression of green summer leaves to the bright red and gold of fall foliage, or annual return of brightly-colored migratory songbirds. Other changes in our woodlands are only visible when comparing differences across many years or decades.
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- This page, Climate Forestry , is offered by
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Table of Contents
Responding to Climate Change
Do you wonder about the changing conditions in your woods? Many people are asking more questions about how a changing climate is effecting forests and what actions can be taken to ensure forests stay healthy no matter what the future holds.
There are two ways that you can help respond to climate change in your woods.
Adapt- First and foremost, you can consider the ways that climate change may affect your woods and work with a professional forester to ensure that the trees, wildlife, and other forest species can cope with changing conditions—these adaptation actions are outlined in Caring for your Woods - Adapting to Changing Conditions.
Mitigate - In addition to ensuring forests are healthy and productive over the long term, you can also consider additional actions that increase the ability of forests to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere as a means to reduce the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Learn more in Caring for your Woods - Managing for Forest Carbon
Partnerships help private landowners tackle effects of climate change
Additional Resources for Responding to Climate Change
For large landowners there are opportunities to receive money for the carbon you grow and store in trees, called carbon offsets or carbon credits. Companies buy carbon offsets to reduce their contribution to global warming: by paying another party to reduce carbon from a different source, companies “offset” carbon emissions from their own operations. This exchange lets companies count the carbon they’re paying to keep out of the atmosphere against their own emissions. Due to the complexity of enrolling in a carbon offset program, it makes the most financial sense for acreage greater than 3,000 acres, which may be one ownership or an aggregate of multiple ownerships. In Massachusetts these larger ownership tend to be municipal lands but any ownership is eligible. Forest Carbon Market Solutions - a Guide for Municipalities, helps a landowner understand the benefits and trade offs of the carbon market, defines what makes a successful project, provides a sense of expectations and risk, and gives a list of next steps.
Additional Resources for Carbon Markets
Annual Town Forest Conference: A focus on climate
Each year DCR works with a municipality to bring focus and attention to the community owned forests and all the benefits they provide. Due to COVID, in 2021 a virtual conference was held which was open to all. You may listen to the conference using the links below.
Topic: Bird Habitat & Climate Adaptation in Your Community (5/26/21)
Topic: The Role of Your Community Forest in Mitigating Climate Change (6/2/21)
Topic: Focus on Funding: Keeping Forests as Forests, Habitat and Climate Resiliency in Your Community (6/9/21)
Forester Training Spring 2023
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), in partnership with Mass Audubon, the New England Forestry Foundation, and Mass Woodlands Institute, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), hosted a four-session Climate Forestry Stewardship Planning training intended for licensed foresters interested in providing Climate Forestry services.
Climate Forestry is a Massachusetts DCR program providing cost share assistance to landowners to hire a qualified consulting forester to conduct a climate-focused forest assessment on their land. Consulting foresters must attend a series of trainings to become certified to provide this service to landowners.
Climate Forestry Training Session 1 - 2/15/2023
Climate Forestry Training Session 2 - 2/22/2023
Climate Forestry Training Session 3 - 3/01/2023
Climate Forestry Training Session 4 - 3/08/2023
Climate Change Communication and Landowners
- Caring for your Woods - Setting Goals
- Caring for your Woods - Adapting to Changing Conditions
- Caring for your Woods - Managing for Forest Carbon
- Healthy Forests for Our Future: A Management Guide to Increase Carbon Storage in Northeast Forests
Forester and Forest Stewardship Plan Writing Resources
- Plan Directions, Sample Plan, Estimating Carbon Guide
- Habitat Resilience Field Assessment Forms
- Managing Forests for Climate Change in Massachusetts
- New England Vulnerability Assessment
- Climate Change Tree Atlas
- Example Adaptation Property
- Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science Adaptation Workbook Strategies and Approaches Menu