Author: Rowan Braybrook

GO WITH THE SNOW: WINTER FOREST MONITORING RESULTS

The future is looking drier, and the trees are taking notice. With climate change creating warmer and drier summers, how can we use forestry techniques to increase snowpack and slow snowmelt for water availability? This question led us at NNRG to create an experiment in practical forestry methods, in collaboration with several partners.

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Keeping a Weather Eye Open: Measuring Snowfall in the Nisqually Watershed

Maintaining a steady and reliable source of water in a changing climate is critical for the health of both people and ecosystems. Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) has been testing methods of ecological forestry that will increase the resilience of future watershed forests. At the Nisqually Community Forest near Mount Rainier, we have implemented several forestry techniquesthat you may recall from our previous article: Thinning the forest to spread available soil moisture among fewer trees, Installing snow gaps so that more snow accumulates and extends snowmelt season Planting seedlings from warmer zones to provide a local source for adapted genetic traits The techniques were

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Moving Trees: Definitions and Ethics of Assisted Migration

In every discussion of forest restoration or climate adaptation, someone asks the question: What about the assisted migration of trees? Should we be doing it? What are the potential impacts? It’s a big topic, and one nuanced enough that it could easily fill a hundred discussions, a dozen doctoral theses, and several books. Our recent presentation and discussion with our partners in the Treeline project, the regional forest adaptation network supported by Climate Resilience Fund was focused on these issues. The event covered definitions and ethical concerns around assisted migration with the aim of gaining some collective clarity on the topic.

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Ecological Forestry Techniques for Hotter, Drier Times

How do we address past mismanagement while also preparing for the future climate?
Northwest Natural Resource Group and partners are launching a new demonstration project to test techniques that can help forests better endure the kinds of climatic change that we expect in the Pacific Northwest.

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Eye to the Future: Adaptation Survey Results

Before the holidays, NNRG and partners in the Forest Adaptation Network (FAN) conducted an initial survey to inform some of the work done by the Network, which is focused around the Puget Sound. While this survey had a small sample size of local restoration professionals, we think the results are of interest to many of our readers and wanted to share them here. Overall the data confirmed many of the anecdotal experiences of the many projects our members are involved in. Species  Which tree species were respondents most interested in PLANTING?  Douglas-fir (10 of 12 respondents), Western redcedar (10); Grand

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Seedling Check In: Stossel Creek, One Year Later

Even with the ongoing pandemic, 2020 was a busy year at Stossel Creek!  In early 2020, just before we realized that a bottle of hand sanitizer wasn’t going to be enough to save us from the news, NNRG and partners hosted a workshop and field tour at Stossel Creek. The Stossel Creek restoration project aimed to restore a site in the Tolt River watershed while also evaluating the viability of different species and provenances of seedlings.  In late February 2020, contracted crews installed 14,130 trees across 54 acres of Seattle City Light’s Stossel Creek property. This included the installation of

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Stossel Creek Case Study: Adaptive Restoration for Pacific Northwest Forests

Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest A changing climate can lead landowners to wonder how to increase the resilience of lands and forests to changing conditions around heat and moisture. The question is no longer if the climate is changing, but rather how fast and how much – and what the impact will be on local forests. Our current forest management practices rely on some basic assumptions about climate, especially around temperature and precipitation. While projections will shift with time and vary by site, on average the future climate in the Pacific Northwest is expected to be warmer with drier

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The Not-So-Open Road: Road Decommissioning at Ellsworth Creek Preserve

In forest systems, hydrology and road systems are at odds with one another. Water wants to run down slopes and avoid barriers, while roads cut across slopes and aim to stay put. Managing your road system to minimize erosion and runoff takes forethought and more than a bit of careful engineering. Kyle Smith, the Forest Manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Washington, is a self-described road engineering geek and has taken great care in consolidating and updating the road system at Ellsworth Creek Preserve. The 8,000 acre preserve, which is FSC certified through NNRG’s group certificate, is located near

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Out With the Fir, In With the Oak

Sarah Deumling has noticed some changes in her forest over the past 20 years.

There’s a little less water to go around, and her family’s land, Zena Forest in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, is a little hotter and drier during the summer. Why? These changes are consistent with climate models’ predictions of the way Oregon climate is shifting under the influence of global warming.

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