Private land owners can respond to the risks of climate change in thier woods. Many resources describing practices that might benefit soil, air and water quality and wildlife habitat, may also help forests adapt to changing conditions. A variety of resources relevant to landowners are featured in this section and within the Northern Forests Climate Hub site.
The Northern Forest Climate Hub delivers science-based knowledge and practical information to forest land owners and natural resource professionals in order to support decision-making related to climate change. Much of this information will be provided through existing USDA programs, such as those featured below, as well as through Extension and education activities.
USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
The USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (NA S&PF) provides Federal leadership, technical assistance, and information to conserve and enhance private forests in the Northeast and Midwest.
Several NA S&PF programs assist the public in pursing forest stewardship, including the Forest Health Protection Program, Forest Legacy Program, Cooperative Fire Protection Program, and Watershed Forestry Program.
NA S&PF’s Strategic Plan provides the foundation for a broad technology transfer role with respect to climate change and ecological services, stating NA S&PF will, “promote forest management approaches that facilitate resilience and adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change.” Strategies to achieve this objective include:
- Engaging staff and partners in dialogue on climate change and supporting the incorporation of applicable science into management activities for increased forest resilience and adaptation.
- Encouraging and supporting tree and forest management approaches and the use of forest products, biomass, and ecosystem service markets that have the potential to mitigate greenhouse gases.
USDA National Agroforestry Center
Agroforestry practices provide a range of opportunities for climate change adaptation and mitigation for landowners and communities. Landowners who implement agroforestry practices on their farms or forest lands often benefit from additional income sources or improved crop yields in addition to creating conservation benefits for climate change, water, and wildlife.
The USDA National Agroforestry Center is a partnership among the USDA Forest Service branches: Research & Development (R&D) and State & Private Forestry (S&PF); and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The mission of the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) is to accelerate the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners by conducting applied research, distilling new science findings, developing technologies and tools, supporting demonstration projects, and providing training and other useful information. NAC’s work aids resource professionals who work with farmers, ranchers, woodland owners, Tribes and communities.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the principal federal agency that provides technical and financial conservation assistance on private lands. A network of several thousand conservation professionals guide private landowners as they make decisions about how best to address existing resources concerns. Much of this assistance has the potential to mitigate climate change (reduced greenhouse gas emissions or increased carbon sequestration) and build greater resiliency (adapt) to variability in climate and weather. NRCS activities include conservation technical assistance, landscape conservation initiatives, and financial assistance programs.