Superior National Forest: North Shore Forest Restoration Project

Stand of birch trees in the northwoods
Abstract: 
Along the North Shore of Lake Superior, residents and land managers have watched forests of paper birch and aspen decline over the past several years. Out of concern for the vitality of this coastal forest, the Superior National Forest developed the North Shore Forest Restoration Project. The project used the Adaptation Workbook to intentionally include climate change considerations in their restoration plan.
Project Status: 
Ongoing
Location: 
North Shore, Minnesota
Start-End Date: 
Monday, August 11, 2014
Partner(s): 
North Shore Forest Restoration Project, Superior National Forest, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

Climate trends in northern Minnesota point to a future that will be warmer and more variable, presenting greater stress for boreal species such as paper birch, white spruce, and balsam fir. Early public feedback on the proposed North Shore Forest Restoration Project indicated that it should include a robust assessment of potential climate change impacts. The project team used the to consider climate change risks and adaptation actions. As a result, the project team made some important modifications to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of the forests in the project area. These modifications range from identifying north-facing slopes and cold pockets where paper birch may fare better in the future, to restoring poor-quality birch stands with species such as white pine and northern red oak that may do better under future climates. Read more about the the 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