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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

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Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

The Climate Change Response Framework Project in Northern Wisconsin

Project Summary

The Climate Change Response Framework Project is a highly collaborative effort working to help land managers in northern Wisconsin understand the potential effects of climate change on forest ecosystems and integrate climate change considerations into management. Since 2009, this project has set out numerous tasks to bridge the gap between scientific research on climate change impacts and on-the-ground management activities. Land managers currently face the immense challenge of anticipating the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems and then developing and applying appropriate management strategies. Our project works to identify strategies and approaches for climate change adaptation and mitigation relevant to forest ecosystems in northern Wisconsin.

View the project summary.


The Climate Change Response Framework Project was designed to provide information and resources relevant to northern Wisconsin forests in order to adapt these ecosystems to changing climate, mitigate carbon emissions, respond to climate change impacts across ownership boundaries, and rapidly incorporate science and monitoring information into management activities. This project contains four efforts:

  • An Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis was created to evaluate key ecosystem vulnerabilities in northern Wisconsin under a range of future climate uncertainty using existing models and information. This document has been completed and will be published as an NRS General Technical Report in 2011. A Mitigation Assessment was developed to consider the potential for and efficacy of different forest carbon mitigation options in northern Wisconsin. A preliminary version of the Mitigation Assessment has been completed, and scientists are working together to produce an expanded assessment.
  • The Shared Landscapes Initiative
    fosters dialogue between federal and non-federal land managers, regional landowners, and the public in order to address climate change, ecosystem response, ecosystem management, and cooperative activities across the landscape. More about the Shared Landscapes Initiative>>> 
  • A Climate Change Science Applications and Needs Workshop was held to examine climate change science needs, applications, monitoring in the CNNF and northern Wisconsin. More about the Science Applications and Needs Workshop>>>
  • A final document, Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate change tools and approaches for land managers, is in development and will incorporate information from the assessments, Shared Landscapes Initiative, and Science Applications and Needs Workshop and also summarize work done to answer questions about research and management in the context of climate change. The document will also include a “menu” of strategies and approaches to better adapt ecosystems to changing climate and a process for managers to consider management objectives, ecosystem vulnerabilities, and approaches for adaptation in order to identify management actions to adapt forests to climate change.


Swanston, Chris; Janowiak, Maria; Iverson, Louis; Parker, Linda; Mladenoff, David; Brandt, Leslie; Butler, Patricia; St. Pierre, Matt; Prasad, Anantha; Matthews, Stephen; Peters, Matthew; Higgins, Dale; Dorland, Avery. 2011. Ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Climate Change Response Framework Project in northern Wisconsin. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-82. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 142 p.

Butler, Patricia; Janowiak, Maria; Brandt, Leslie; Swanston, Chris. 2011. Lessons learned from the Climate Change Response Framework Project in Northern Wisconsin. (pdf)


Additional Resources


U.S. Forest Service - Northern Research Station

Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

U.S. Forest Service-Eastern Region

  • Tony Erba, Planning, Appeals, Litigation, & Landscape-Scale Conservation, Regional Office
  • Tom Doane, Deputy Director, AWSLME, Regional Office
  • Paul Strong, Forest Supervisor, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
  • Linda Parker, Ecologist, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
  • Matt St. Pierre, Biologist, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

U.S. Forest Service-Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

  • Barbara Tormoehlen, Group Leader, Office of Knowledge Management
  • Sarah Hines, Ecosystem Services and Markets

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • David Mladenoff, Beers-Bascom Professor of Conservation, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology


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Last Modified: 07/07/2011