Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework

To address climate change impacts on northern Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin forests, the ‘Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework’ was established in 2011. The project has involved more than 40 scientists and natural resource professionals collaborating to assess the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to climate change – developing the Framework for resource management, conservation, and collaboration in adaptation planning. 

The Northwoods Framework covers 64 million acres of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan - a Laurentian Mixed Fores within Ecological Province 212 of the National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units. This Ecological Province is a mosaic of water features and forests characterized by past glacial activity and Great Lakes climate, and a transition zone between the northern boreal forests and the southern hardwood forests.

Three objectives have been established for the Northwoods project:
• Provide a forum for people working across the Northwoods to share experiences and lessons learned.
• Develop new user-friendly tools to help public and private land managers factor climate change considerations into decision making.
• Support efforts by public land managers, private landowners, and others to implement new tools for addressing climate change.

As a part of the Northwoods Framework, a 'Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis' was created to evaluate key ecosystem vulnerabilities in the region under a range of future climate uncertainty using existing models and information. The 'Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis for Northern Wisconsin and Western Upper Michigan' was released in 2014.

The Northwoods project is one of six regional initiatives of the umbrella Climate Change Response Framework Project (CCRFP). This Framework was designed to bridge the gap between scientific research on climate change impacts and on-the-ground management response to climate change impacts. Six CCRFP projects encompass 19 states, including 14 National Forests and millions of acres of forestland. Each regional project involves four components: science and management partnerships, vulnerability assessments, adaptation resources, and demonstration projects.

Publication Date: 2011


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study

States Affected:


  • Precipitation changes

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