The Nature Conservancy: Caroline Lake Preserve

Caroline Lake, Wisconsin
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) worked with several partners and a consulting forestry firm to re-write Caroline Lake Preserve's forest management plan to incorporate actions to help adapt forests to climate change, while meeting TNC's management objectives. This plan was prepared for the State of Wisconsin's Managed Forest Law tax incentive program by Compass Land Consultants, Inc, and finalized in February 2016. TNC will now move forward and implement the plan over the next 10 years.
Project Status: 
Caroline Lake Preserve, northern Wisconsin
Start-End Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, The Nature Conservancy

Project partners identified a number of potential adaptation actions with the overarching intent to maintain the resilience of the forest to changing conditions. In the northern hardwood forest, actions to maintain and enhance tree species diversity were prescribed to reduce the risk from climate change-related declines in the dominant species. This included the use of group selection and shelterwood harvests to enhance natural regeneration of mid-tolerant species. Several of these species, including northern red oak and black cherry, are currently present on the property in relatively low amounts and are projected to fare better under climate change relative to other species that are currently present. Eastern white pine was also identified as a desirable species. Although it is projected to decrease under some climate scenarios, the species is at a lower risk of decline than other native conifers. Read more about this project on the Climate Change Response Framework website.

For more than 200 examples of climate change adaptation in forests of the Midwest and northeast, see