The North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, California Landscape Cooperative, Geos Institute, Society for Conservation Biology (Humboldt State Chapter), and the Environmental Protection Information Center hosted a workshop and field trip entitled: “Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience in a Changing Climate,” which took place on September 6 and 7, 2013 at Humboldt State University and Redwood National Park.
The Friday workshop was held at Humboldt State University, and Saturday’s all-day field trip toured forest restoration sites in Redwood National Park, arranged by the National Park Service.
Workshop participants came from a variety of different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Most were associated with state and federal land management agencies, city government, university research institutions, private forestry, Native American tribes, and non-governmental organizations. This workshop is intended to be one of many to develop sound adaptation strategies for the coast redwood ecoregion, with a strong basis in stakeholder engagement.
We conducted a review of the relevant science on climate change, providing workshop participants with information on current conditions, ongoing change, and expected future trends. We also discussed how existing stressors interact with climate change to exacerbate impacts to redwood forest species and ecosystem function. Finally, we weighed different approaches to managing redwoods for persistence and collectively developed recommendations for best practices and information needs. The science review, information from participants, and results of their brainstorming effort are summarized in a white paper developed for distribution.
Most managers and researchers agreed that management strategies for coast redwoods should focus primarily on resilience at this time. Redwoods are very long lived, and redwood ecosystems can potentially persist for hundreds of years, even if reestablishment becomes unsupported by the changing climate. As these forests are impacted by natural disturbance and increasing variability in climate associated with climate change, resilience will become vital for continued persistence.
In addition to these four strategies, the group identified and prioritized many other potential strategies (Table 2 in the white paper) for managing this iconic ecosystem. More information can be found in the white paper and the draft workshop summary.
Geos Institute depends on the generous support of caring people who believe we can and must do a better job addressing climate change for our children and those who will follow.