Northwoods replanting

In the Northwoods of Wisconsin, members of the Menominee Tribe are logging acres of trees. They’re trying to stop the spread of a disease called Oak wilt. But instead of just replanting oaks, in some places, the tribe’s foresters are planting non-local species.

Handler: “They’re more common maybe a hundred miles to the south in Wisconsin. And these are species like white oak, bur oak, black cherry, black walnut, chinkapin oak, even hackberry, and some disease-resistant American elm trees. They picked species intentionally that are projected to increase or do better under future climate scenarios.”

That’s Stephen Handler with the USDA Forest Service. He says these hardwood trees can still be harvested and sold for lumber. But these changes will give the forest a better chance to thrive as the climate warms.

'The Menominee project is a great example of climate change adaptation in the real world.' Click To Tweet

Handler: “Forestry is inherently about setting yourself up for a long-term game. So we know it takes decades and decades for forests to grow and develop and change. The Menominee project is a great example of climate change adaptation in the real world.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photos: Courtesy of Maria Janowiak, USDA Forest Service and NIACS.

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