Climate Adaptation for Pacific Northwest Forests

Strategies for Adapting Pacific Northwest Forests to Climate Change

Climate change poses significant challenges for small forest owners in the Northwest. Recent analyses indicate that western Oregon and Washington will likely experience warmer temperatures, higher winter precipitation, reduced snowpack, and less precipitation in summer months. This means changes to the core conditions in which current forests thrive, heightened stress on fish and wildlife, and increased risks from insects, disease, and wildfire.

There are many actions land managers can take to improve a forest’s resilience to climate change. Most management strategies and tactics that help forests adapt to and become more resilient are already commonly used practices and familiar silvicultural techniques. A changing climate just makes proactive forest management that much more important.

NNRG is hosting workshops and developing resources for foresters and land managers to use in planning for the future of their forests. See below for video presentations, white papers, and other resource materials developed as part of this grant-funded project. 

Video Presentations

In Fall 2019 NNRG hosted three workshops on Climate Adaptation Strategies for Pacific Northwest Forests to help foresters and land managers make informed decisions about adapting their management practices to meet their goals and sustain forests into the future. Video recordings of these presentations are available below. You can download a PDF of the slides associated with each presentation by clicking “Download presentation (PDF)” below each video.

Presentations Focused on Washington Forests

Climate Change: What is the
Current Understanding and What to Expect

Jessica Halofsky
USFS PNW Research Station

Climate Change Effects on Forests in the Pacific Northwest

David L. Peterson
USFS PNW Research Station

Forest Hydrology for Climate Adaptation in the Pacific Northwest

Rolf Gersonde
City of Seattle

Climate Change Effects on Forest Insects & Diseases

Glenn Kohler
WA Dept of Natural Resources

Planting Our Future Forests: Species & Seed Source Considerations

Andy Bower & Brad St. Clair
USFS PNW Research Station

Western Washington Wildfires: Managing the Risk

Dan Donato & Josh Halofsky
WA Dept. of Natural Resources

Silvicultural Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation

Derek Churchill
WA Dept. of Natural Resources

Presentations Focused on Oregon Forests

Climate Change in the Northwest

Holly Prendeville
USDA Northwest Climate Hub

Climate Adaptation Tactics for Northwest Forests

Holly Prendeville
USDA Northwest Climate Hub

Forest Hydrology for Climate Adaptation

Ashley Coble

Climate Change & Insect Pests of Trees

Christine Buhl
Oregon Department of Forestry

Fire Ecology in Westside Forests of the PNW

Matt Reilly
Humboldt State University

Silvicultural Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation

Derek Churchill
WA Dept. of Natural Resources

Planting Our Future Forests: Species & Seed Source Considerations

Andy Bower & Brad St. Clair
USFS PNW Research Station


NNRG is developing resources for foresters and land managers, including: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Western Washington and Northwest Oregon Forests. This white paper is an overview of climate trends and projections, vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies. Stay tuned for this resource!

The following are helpful sources of information for addressing the affects of climate change on Pacific Northwest forests:

  • Adaptation Partners – – Researchers and resource managers provide scientific information on climate change effects and adaptation for specific regions in the Northwest and Intermountain West. 
  • Adaptation Workbook –
  • AdaptWest – – AdaptWest is a spatial database designed to help land management agencies and other organizations implement strategies that promote resilience, protect biodiversity, and conserve and enhance the adaptation potential of natural systems in the face of a changing climate.
  • Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) – US Forest Service collection of resources and tools.
  • Climate Impact Groups at UW (CIG) – – Leading researchers and providers of primary science and decision making tools.
  • Climate Impact Research Consortium at OSU (CIRC) – climate science-to-action team providing research, decision making tools for communities, and developer of analytic tools resource managers and land use planners.
  • NW Climate Hub – – USDA portal for science-based Northwest-specific information and technologies to assist with climate-informed decision making.
  • NW Climate Toolbox – – Suite of online tools to put a variety of climate data and information in reach of organizations and people for site specific locations, including: historical climate variability, temperature and precipitation normal, streamflow projections, climate projections, and data for Tribal Lands.
  • Seedlot Selection Tool – – Web-based mapping application that can be used to map current or future climates based on different climate change scenarios to inform the selection of seedlings for tree planting as part of reforestation and restoration efforts.
  • U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit – – Portal for general information about change for many audiences. 

Past Workshops

Wednesday, November 6
Everett Station
Everett, WA

Thursday, November 14
Olympia Center
Olympia, WA

Thursday, December 5
Chemeketa Center for B & I
Salem, OR

Funding and support for this project comes from:

Western Sustainable Agriculture and Education is supporting the research and training provided through this project with grant #EW16-021 – Climate Adaptation Training for Foresters.