Urban Forest Adaptation to Climate Change: Key Tools and Resources

 At the 2019 NY ReLeaf Conference last July in Rochester, Dr. Leslie Brandt presented a fascinating talk about her work on urban forest adaptation to climate change, and she offered up powerful resources and tools to our community. Here’s a brief summary of those resources compiled by blog editor Michelle Sutton in consultation with Dr. Brandt.   

Background

The Climate Change Response Framework (forestadapation.org) is a collaborative, cross-boundary approach among scientists, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resource management.

The Framework’s partners are numerous and wide-ranging, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of state and local governments, Native American tribes and tribal organizations, universities, and ecological and urban forest institutes and organizations.

The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) works with partners to lead Framework activities across the Midwest and Northeast U.S. Within the Climate Change Response Framework, the Urban Forestry focus addresses urban forest vulnerability for cities and creates tools to help local managers adapt to the effects of climate change.

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ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures, Part III

Saturday’s keynote speaker, Andrew Revkin (pictured here with his partner, Lisa) brought an international perspective and images in his talk, “Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate.” Revkin is a celebrated environmentalist and musician who, fortunately for us, lives in the Hudson Valley. 
Davey Resource Group Urban Forester/Project Developer Sophia Rodbell serves on the Council Board and volunteered at ReLeaf registration.
Just a mile or so from Mount Saint Mary College is the lovingly designed and coneflower-filled national historic site of the storied Balmville Tree, a cottonwood (Populus deltoides) that was 316 years old when it became too hazardous to the public to stand.

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USFS Climate Change Specialist Leslie Brandt Coming to ReLeaf 2019

We are most fortunate to have USFS Climate Change Specialist Dr. Leslie Brandt as the 2019 ReLeaf Conference Friday morning plenary speaker and leader of a workshop later that morning.

In the plenary she will discuss “Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Urban Forest and Natural Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Region” and in the workshop, she zooms in on NY with “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for New York’s Trees.”

To get background on Leslie’s work with her climate change cohorts, you can see a superb infographic here about the findings of the team studying the vulnerability of the tree species in the urban forests of greater Chicago. The full paper about this study is here.

The vulnerability case studies presented are most interesting. For example, find out why the Village of Riverside’s urban forest is Low-Moderately Vulnerable to climate change effects, while the City of Lake Forest is Moderately Vulnerable, while the Glencoe Park Distrist is Moderate to Highly Vulnerable. What can we do to make moderate to highly vulnerable urban forests in New York more resilient?