As we consider the future of our forests, we often hear natural resource folks refer to “resilience” as a desirable thing to achieve. What is resilience anyway? And why should we be concerned about it with respect to our woodlands? As woodland owners, can we be sure our interests are being met and push our forests towards resilience?
We have heard of ecosystem services in the context of the benefits that forests provide to society. Open space, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, clean air, and water quality are among these services. Private landowners stewarding their property deliver these services to all of us!
Resilience is the capacity of the woods to recover from disturbance or change and return to normal function and delivery of ecosystem services following that disturbance. It turns out that the goals of “good forestry practices” are right in line with resilience.
The Keep Forests Healthy project intends to help landowners evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their woodlots using an assessment and scorecard that anyone can use. The assessment identifies 16 characteristics that may increase or decrease the risk of harm to a woodlot due to increased climate extremes, pest outbreaks, and other disturbances. The result of the assessment can then be discussed with a forester to help prioritize and plan management activities.
You can read about and download the assessment and scorecard at the Climate Change Response Framework’s website: https://forestadaptation.org/learn/resource-finder/ny-checklist
Interested? This webinar will introduce you to the assessment and scorecard on May 5:
Hope you can join us!