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A Framework for Adapting Our Urban Forests to a Changing Climate

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A Framework for Adapting Our Urban Forests to a Changing Climate

  1. 1. Maddy Baroli Climate Adaptation Specialist Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science mjbaroli@mtu.edu Forestadaptation.org/urban
  2. 2. Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) develops synthesis products, fosters communication, pursues science, and provides technical assistance in climate change adaptation and carbon management. Climate Carbon Multi-institutional collaborative chartered by USDA Forest Service, universities, and non-profit and tribal conservation organizations
  3. 3. NIACS Urban Climate Change Response Framework Urban Forestry ‘Menu of Adaptation Strategies’ and Approaches first published 2016 More than 70 real-world urban & community forestry demonstration projects using Adaptation Workbook and Menu Urban Forest Vulnerability Assessments and/or tree species vulnerability resources have been created for many cities, such as: • Chicago, IL • Detroit, MI • Twin Cities, MN • Baltimore, MD • Washington DC • Providence, RI • Austin, TX • Phoenix, AZ • Puget Sound, WA • Boston, MA Learn more at: forestadaptation.org/urban
  4. 4. Drought Flooding Storms A changing climate poses risks to ecosystems, including urban forests Pests & disease
  5. 5. Climate Change Impacts on Urban Forests
  6. 6. Climate Adaptation Planning in Urban Forests Robust strategies are needed to help urban forests adapt to climate change Urban forest managers and allied professionals need access to tools and information to support these efforts Will vary widely depending on geographic location, extent of development, ownership, and management goals Consider community needs and values to guide planning, implementation, education and outreach, research, policy
  7. 7. Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework Brandt et al. 2016. Environmental Science and Policy
  8. 8. What is vulnerability? Vulnerability is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes.
  9. 9. Why assess vulnerability? Help set management priorities Assist in developing adaptation strategies Allocation of funding Understand how communities will be affected
  10. 10. Regional Vulnerability Assessments: Chicago, Austin, Detroit, Puget Sound, Boston www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/54128 www.climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/northern-forests/topic/vulnerability- assessment-austins-urban-forest-and-natural-areas Includes: ● Overview of climate projections ● Tree species climate vulnerability/adaptability assessment ● Human health and community considerations
  11. 11. Climate Trends & Projections • Review of past & current climate trends • Temperature and precipitation projections • Trends and projections in extreme weather events • Changes in soils and hydrology • Growing season length • Hardiness and heat zones • Sea-level and lake-level rise (where applicable) Projected difference in mean daily minimum temperature (°F) in the Chicago Wilderness region at the end of the century (2070 through 2099) compared to baseline (1971 through 2000) for two climate model-emissions scenario combinations. Source: Stoner et al. (2013).
  12. 12. Tree Species Vulnerability & Adaptability Overall Vulnerability Heat & Hardiness Zone Suitability Urban Adaptability Future Heat Zones Boston Region, End of Century Low Climate Change Scenario (RCP 4.5) High Climate Change Scenario (RCP 8.5) https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=2a224eac04924285a094190c8e08a459 Zone 6 Zone 8
  13. 13. Tree Species Vulnerability & Adaptability Overall Vulnerability Heat & Hardiness Zone Suitability Urban Adaptability Tolerance to disturbances: ● Ice ● Salt ● Heat ● Wind ● Pests ● Diseases ● Drought ● Floods ● Browsing ● Invasive Species ● Air Pollution ● Soil & Water Pollution Biological factors: ● Shade Tolerance ● Edaphic Specificity ● Invasive Potential ● Habitat Specificity ● Nursery Propagation ● Maintenance Required ● Planting Establishment ● Restricted Rooting Conditions
  14. 14. Tree Species Vulnerability & Adaptability High Vulnerability Moderate-high Vulnerability Moderate Vulnerability Moderate Vulnerability Low-moderate Vulnerability Low Vulnerability Not Suitable Suitable Zone Suitability Low Medium High Adaptive Capacity Overall Vulnerability Heat & Hardiness Zone Suitability Urban Adaptability
  15. 15. Percent Vulnerable Trees high 2% moderate-high 53% moderate 32% low-moderate 11% low 2% Percentage of trees in the region within each vulnerability category-Austin, TX
  16. 16. Additional Considerations: Climate & Health Recent Vulnerability Assessments also include: ● Carbon benefit ● Human health benefit ● Human health disservices www.itreetools.org/
  17. 17. Summary Handouts Forestadaptation.org/urban
  18. 18. Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework
  19. 19. Workshops with Local Partners Development of Vulnerability Assessment • Local experts and community partners in urban forestry and climate • Insights & feedback to help refine vulnerability and adaptability information
  20. 20. Workshops with Local Partners Adaptation Planning & Implementation • Informational sessions with local urban forestry networks • Trainings that introduce vulnerability assessments and adaptation resources • Participants apply resources to real-world projects • Valuable peer-to-peer learning
  21. 21. Using the Urban Forest Vulnerability Assessments: Emily King, Urban Forester, Austin, TX Some of the initial ways we have used the Austin Climate Vulnerability Assessment: ○ Tree inventory: we updated the attribute table of our tree inventory to include the vulnerability score for each tree ■ Passive way to have users of the data become curious about the adaptation score, learn more, and ultimately find useful ways to change management practices based on the information. ○ NeighborWoods trees: analyzed the species list and updated it to include trees with lower vulnerability to climate change. ■ NeighborWoods is a free tree distribution program that gives away ~4500 trees to area residents each year. ○ Tree Guides: tree guides that unfold into posters are a great outreach item; we’re evaluating the suggested species to plant in our area to make sure we’re promoting climate ready trees. ■ We use the Tree Guides as outreach/educational materials, and share them widely with partners to distribute. We have not yet updated them, but are looking at how to incorporate climate ready trees into a future update.
  22. 22. Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework
  23. 23. https://www.vibrantcitieslab.com/guides/climate-health-action-guide/
  24. 24. Adaptation Workbook Process Swanston et al. 2016. Resources for assessing vulnerability: Regional Climate Impact Explorer, Urban Forest Vulnerability Assessments, your lived experience! Utilizing the ‘Climate Adaptation Actions for Urban Forests and Human Health’ report & adaptation menu
  25. 25. Climate and Health Adaptation ‘Menu’ • Peer-reviewed list of adaptation strategies for climate adaptation and human health • Supported by the best available science and practice • Pick and choose based on your goals and needs! • Full report available at: www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/62807 • Interactive version of the abbreviated menu: adaptationworkbook.org/niacs- strategies/urban_forest_health
  26. 26. Identifying adaptation actions – using a ‘Menu’ of Strategies and Approaches NIACS’ adaptation menus provide a curated list of adaptation actions to help you move from broad ideas to specific actions!
  27. 27. Who should use these resources? Urban/community foresters Public health professionals Climate/sustainability professionals Planners Landscape architects Non-profits & community groups
  28. 28. STRATEGY 1: Engage social systems to integrate climate change, urban forest, and human health actions Adobe Stock
  29. 29. STRATEGY 2: Reduce the impact of human health threats and stressors using urban trees and forests Adobe Stock
  30. 30. STRATEGY 3: Maintain or increase extent of urban forests and vegetative cover Photos: Speak for the Trees Boston
  31. 31. STRATEGY 5: Reduce the impact of physical and biological stressors on urban forests STRATEGY 4: Sustain or restore fundamental ecological functions of urban ecosystems STRATEGY 6: Enhance taxonomic, functional, and structural diversity Photo: Guy Kramer Using permeable paving, suspended surfaces, or Silva Cells to enable trees ample growing space and enhanced ability to capture runoff. Implement structural pruning program to improve trees branching structure & ability to withstand extreme weather events. Planting diversity of tree species, enacting tree preservation ordinances to protect older age classes of trees.
  32. 32. STRATEGY 7: Alter urban ecosystems toward new and expected conditions Photo: Guy Kramer
  33. 33. STRATEGY 8: Promote mental and social health in the face of climate change STRATEGY 9: Promote human health co-benefits in nature-based climate adaptation activities Adobe Stock Use trees and shrubs to create spaces that serve as community gathering spaces used for celebrations and other community events that build social cohesion. Engage engineers, urban planners, and sustainability officers, along with other allied professionals, to pursue co-benefits through project designs that integrate trees and shrubs.
  34. 34. Example Urban Adaptation Projects forestadaptation.org/adapt/ demonstration-projects (filter by focus: urban forests) forestadaptation.org /adapt/urban
  35. 35. 3 case studies from Austin, TX, Durango, CO, and Albuquerque, NM Eos Article: Community Forests Prepare for Climate Change ‘Cities across the United States are feeling the heat as they struggle to integrate climate science into on-the- ground decision making regarding urban tree planting and management.’ ‘One rapid solution to support community forest climate adaptation is to learn from other similar cities that have already begun the process.’ eos.org/features/community-forests- prepare-for-climate-change
  36. 36. THANK YOU! Madeline Baroli mjbaroli@mtu.edu Take a deeper dive with these resources as part of the 1pm indoor field session with American Forests!

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • Good morning everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to your conference, I’m sorry that I can’t be there in person with you all but really appreciate the flexibility and support of the awesome planning committee and am looking forward to sharing with you today. So I know there is going to be another block all about climate change tomorrow and hopefully this sets the scene for that nicely – so it’s my intention to give you some tools that can support you in integrating climate adaptation into your urban forestry efforts.
  • First, I’ll just briefly introduce the organization I work with, the NIACS. We are a multi-institutional organization chartered by the US Forest Service as well as the universities, non-profit and tribal conservation organizations you see here. We also lead the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, and our focus is really on connecting the dots between the latest science and on-the-ground management by providing land managers with the information, resources, and training they need to respond to climate change.
  • NIACS has a number of core projects and efforts, including our Urban Climate Change Response Framework. So you can see on this map here all of the different cities we have worked with in various capacities to consider the effects of climate change on urban forests. Since the first urban forestry menu was published in 2016, we’ve worked closely to create valuable reference materials for the cities you see listed here and have also had over 70 other urban-forestry teams participate in our climate adaptation trainings.
  • This is not a group that I need to describe all the benefits of urban forests to – I think everybody is aware of all the invaluable ecosystem services and social, cultural, and economic benefits they provide – but it’s really important that we understand, while urban forests are one of our greatest tools for helping us mitigate and adapt to climate change, they of course also face substantial challenges of their own.
    X are all effects that urban trees, and of course all of these threats are compounded and amplified by our changing climate, which is generally increasing the frequency and severity of all these key impacts
  • Here is just a news round-up of recent headlines highlighting climate change impacts on urban forests, these all of course have the effect of stressing and damaging trees, but also contributing to hazardous conditions in our communities. There is really nowhere that unaffected at this point, and our communities are having to respond to these circumstances often times with little preparation and resources. So obviously given the magnitude of these impacts, we really want to shift from just being responsive to changing conditions and emergencies into actually trying our best to prepare for and make informed decisions based on the conditions we are anticipating.
  • So I like to share these kind of tru-isms for adaptation planning adaptation that apply to urban forests. So I think it’s clear based on all the impacts we are already seeing that we need robust… In order to do this work, urban forest managers…and of course there is NOT a one sized-fits-all approach that will work everywhere – while there may be similarities between some cities, every urban environment has a unique combination of climate, extent of development, ownership patterns and management goals. And lastly, the skills an concerns and local knowledge from professionals and community members should really be what guides decision making, education and outreach, research, and changes in policy that are intended to support our urban forests and enable us to all equitably benefit from them.


    First bullet…and secure their benefits for people and ecosystems

    (such as planners, public works staff, tree wardens, and public health officials)

    With all that in mind, I’m going to focus heavily on sharing resources that can be used to dive deeper on this topic, and then go through a collection of urban forest adaptation strategies for climate and human health and finish with some examples from familiar cities.




    Before you take action, it’s important to think about what your ultimate goal with adaptation is. Are you trying to manage for persistence or manage for change?
  • This is an overview of how we work with partners through our CC Response Framework, and we’re just going flow through these today. So the first step in our process is to really get a picture of how vulnerable the urban forests in your region are to climate change – and to do this we use the latest and best available climate and ecological information to understand broad, regional vulnerability as well as the vulnerability of common tree species in a region.


    The framework, which builds on our previous work on adaptation, has three main components:
    Assess vulnerability of climate change impacts and tree species vulnerability for a metropolitan region
    Work with individual communities to assess the vulnerability of their urban forests to climate change
    Work with these communities to incorporate their information into real-world projects
  • And in this context we define vulnerability as… so we really want to understand to what degree our urban forests, or parts of our urban forest, are vulnerable – exactly how might climate change impacts particular areas, particular species, etc.
  • Why? I think this is probably implicit for most of you but it’s worth reiterating that assessing vulnerability helps us get a better grip on things by helping understand how communities will be affected… and helps… and then it sets us up to take action by developing strategies to adapt and also enabling us to seek out and advocate for funding and resources.
  • And of course there is no crystal ball for understanding exactly how ecosystems are going to respond to changing climate conditions, and hopefully we are able to mitigate climate change as much as possible – but – we want to be able to at least get a sense and try our best to plan for it. So through our Urban CCRF we have published a number of urban forest vulnerability assessments for different metropolitan areas – these summarize the best available scientific information on local climate change impacts to the urban forest, and include XXX. We currently have vulnerability assessments of varying depth and length for the cities listed here, and we will be working with American Forests and the City of Indianopolis this upcoming winter and spring on a vulnerability assessment for them.
  • So I’ll just take us through each of the core components of a vulnerability assessment. In the first section we look at the climate of the past, present and future by providing detailed summary of trends and projections – like x, y, z. This really sets the stage for understanding regional climate vulnerability, and which changes are going to be the most influential.
  • For assessing tree species vulnerability and adaptability, we start by compiling all of the species that should be included based on a city’s most recent tree inventory, and then any local recommended planting lists or recommendations from stakeholders. Then we get a picture of overall vulnerability by combining heat & hardiness zone suitability and urban adaptatibility scores. To evaluate heat and hardiness zone suitability, we compare the heat and hardiness zone ranges for each species to the projected changes in the region’s zones. So you can see here that the City of Boston, which for reference is currently in Heat Zone 4, which means maximum temperatures that different species can tolerate. Boston is currently in zone 4, meaning there are typically 15-30 days a year above 86 degrees F, is projected to increase to heat zone 6 or 8 by the end of the century under different CC scenarios. So this means that species that have a limit of heat zone 4, 5, or 6 are likely to really struggle or be incompatible by that point.
    ----
    Zone 6 = 46-60 days/yr, Zone 8=91-120)

    So you can see this really links back to those dramatic heat index projections, with the Zone 8 heat zone classification being the result of 91-120 days above 86 degrees F.

    Adaptability scores were generated for each species based on literature describing its tolerance to disturbances such as drought, flooding, pests, and disease, as well as its growth requirements such as shade tolerance, soil needs, and ease of nursery propagation.

    Species selected by local experts are evaluated for their vulnerability based on their adaptive capacity using a scoring system, and their climate change impacts using projected changes in heat and hardiness zones.

    Species can be assessed separately for their vulnerability in natural vs. developed sites based on different criteria.
  • And then we assign an adaptability score to each species based on research into their overall tolerance to disturbances such as drought, flooding, pests, and disease, as well as their biological growth requirements that you see listed here and other considerations such as ease of nursery propagation and planting establishment. We do also in some cases assess species separately for their vulnerability in natural vs. developed sites based on different criteria.
    --

    Species selected by local experts are evaluated for their vulnerability based on their adaptive capacity using a scoring system, and their climate change impacts using projected changes in heat and hardiness zones.
  • So once we have this score we combine it with the heat and hardiness zone assessment to understand overall vulnerability. So as you can see, if a species has low adaptive capacity score and its zone range is mismatched with future projections, it would be considered highly vulnerable, whereas a species with high adaptive capacity and a zone range that includes the future projected zones, it would be consider low vulnerability.
  • And then of course one application of this information is that if there is an inventory available that estimates the abundance of different species, we can get a sense of just how vulnerable the overall urban forest is by seeing how many species fall under each vulnerability category in the region. For example, in Austin, we used urban Forest Inventory and analysis abundance estimates to get this picture.
  • In addition to the climate projections and tree species vulnerability, our most recent assessments have also included an added carbon and human health section. We use different data analysis tools through i-Tree Eco to understand the overall carbon benefit, human health benefit, and human health disservices associated with each species included in the assessment. So on the right side here you can see all of the different components that factor into each of those ratings – so obviously carbon is based on a species ability to sequester and store carbon, health benefits has a lot to do with how effective the tree is at providing shade and removing pollutants, and disservices are related to allerginicty of the species and the release of certain organic compounds that are known irritants to people.

    ----

    This list will help visualize some of the climate and health benefits and concerns when selecting tree species, and while this list will not be considered a recommended planting list, it demonstrates the complexity of tree species selection and provides insight into the four categories (climate vulnerability, carbon benefit, health benefit, and health disservices).
    Of course, there are many other factors to consider when selecting tree species and when assessing the overall adaptive capacity of urban forests, but this list will provide insight into four critical areas we should be considering when selecting tree species in a changing climate.
  • We also want to empower our partners to get as much out of this information that they can – so in addition to the longer vulnerability assessments, we create shorter summary documents and visually engaging handouts that pull out the key information. So you can see here some examples, we have a 4-page summary of the longer Austin assessment, a legend and table from a handout on the City of Boston’s tree species vulnerability, and then one of our climate, carbon and health handouts. We also have created some more of these shorthand resources for certain cities without publishing full vulnerability assessments – so for instance we have one of these tree species vulnerability and adaptability handouts like the one you see in the middle for the city of Phoenix, even though we have not published a full urban forest vulnerability assessment with them. You can access these handouts at our forestadaptation.org website by navigating to the map and selecting a city, any resources that have been created for that city will be available there.
  • Work with individual communities to assess the vulnerability of their urban forests to climate change. Understanding those broader climate change impacts and which tree species are going to be more or less vulnerable is a great foundation, but we of course want to make sure that information and insights from the local level are both being incorporated into our resources and also relied upon alongside these resources, because at the end of the day, that is going to be the most important element of on-the-ground decision-making.
  • One way that we engage in this is to involve local partner in the development of the vulnerability assessments. Pre-covid there was a lot of gathering for in-person focus groups that involved local urban forestry professionals in the process, and then we have also done more remote and virtual gathering of feedback. So we check-in with partners on important touchpoints such as whether any important species are missing from the assessment, whether the adaptability scores seem accurate, and what community and health considerations rise to the top of their concerns for their inclusion in the assessment.
  • And then we have the fun job of actually disseminating this information and supporting adaptation planning and implementation within these regions. So often we are hosted by local urban forestry networks to share these resources, but we also host trainings where participants are empowered to apply them to real-world urban forestry projects, whether it’s a project they already have going on or a pie-in-the-sky dream project. So this provides a really great platform for peer-to-peer climate adaptation learning and idea sharing.
  • Examples of ecological adaptive capacity can include things like species diversity, connectivity, age class diversity, and genetic diversity. More diverse, connected systems tend to have higher adaptive capacity.
  • And of course it’s important to not only think about the impacts of climate change on your location, but your ability to cope, in essence your adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity can include ecological, economic, organizational, or social factors that help you cope with change. In urban environments, adaptive capacity is complex and is based on several major themes -
  • So here I just want to give you a sense of how this vulnerability assessment information can be used broadly to inform urban forestry efforts – these are notes from Emily King who is an Urban Forester with the City of Austin, TX, and I apologize that it’s a little text heavy but I think it’s really good to get a full sense of how Emily and her colleagues have been applying these resources to local efforts. As you can read, some of the ways they have incorporated this resource into their work include [read first two bullets] so that’s a kind of passive, built-in way to integrate climate information, and then they updated the species they are offering through their NeighborWoods tree giveaway program – so they already focus on making sure we have good diversity with the species, but now we can include this new layer of information as a diversity requirement. And lastly, they’re planning on including climate ready trees into outreach and educational materials in the form of foldable posters that they use as community guidance on tree planting. So just some great examples of local applications of this information!
  • So, that brings us nicely into our third step here which is to have this information integrated into real-world projects. And this is where we move beyond the vulnerability assessment resources and into some of our more action oriented resources that we have been using in those local workshops and also just promoting more broadly.
  • This Climate & Health Action Guide is hosted on the Vibrant Cities Lab website is a great place to get started with climate adaptation planning for urban forests. This guide walks users through a structured, yet flexible 5-step adaptation process that NIACS developed and has used with countless partners in different ecosystem types over the years.
  • The guide walks users through this process while also providing narrative and links to other resources. Sticking to this process is a really simply. comprehensive way to make sure that you are making informed and intentional management decisions. So as you can see, it starts with the BASICS of articulating goals and objectives, then assessing climate and human health risks, evaluating if your goals and need changing after understanding the climate implications, and then proactively developing responses to these risks and making a plan for monitoring in order to understand how effective your actions were. And so the vulnerability assessments that we covered support step 2, but then to go about developing adaptation actions in Step 4, we have a fantastic new resource focused on urban forests and communities.
  • So this is our READ report that includes what we call the XXX Menu. It was published just last year and was a collaboratively authored by NIACS, American Forests, and partners at the University of Washington, including Kathy Wolf. The adaptation strategies and approaches included in the menu are based on an extensive literature review and consultation with partners, and the whole publication was then peer-reviewed. It ties in loads of great research on urban forestry, social science, and public health as well as insights and ideas from professionals working in this field
  • NIACS has led the development of many ‘Menus’ of adaptation strategies and approaches for a variety of natural resource topics.

    This graphic shows the hierarchy or flow of ideas from those broad strategies that are applicable across different projects, all the way down to specific tactics which are more prescriptive on-the-ground actions that you ultimately come up with, though the menu does provide some examples. So yeah it’s important to note that this isn’t a script, does not provide specific recommendations or guidance for any particular place, it’s more of a menu, so it offers a variety of options that you ultimately select and customize based on your needs.
  • And so, the action guide and menu were created to support a variety of audiences including but not limited to… The idea is that the work of each of these groups has their own unique intersection with urban forestry and the effects of climate change in our communities, so the considerations in the action guide may be relevant to all of them in one way or another. So I am going to use the rest of our time to actually briefly go through each of the strategies in the climate and health adaptation menu to get you all brainstorming about actions that might be a good fit for your work.
  • The first strategy is all about taking a holistic view of climate change and human health when undertaking any sort of planning activity. Done effectively, this centers issues related to environmental justice and social equity. Since this strategy is so broad, there are tons of practices included in the menu, but one is to identify and remedy disparities in canopy, parks, and green space distribution. So you may be aware that American Forests has developed a Tree Equity Score tool and that is a really important and powerful tool that can support these efforts. Another idea related to this strategy is to support the development of green infrastructure jobs and career pathways for residents that are place-based and support beneficial climate and health outcomes.


  • The second strategy is emphasizes the ability of urban forests to reduce the impacts of climate change on human health. So one example is increasing urban tree cover in known hot spots within the city to help protect people from extreme heat. Another example is planting trees in alignment with transportation plans to provide “green screens” for high-volume transportation corridors which are concentrated sources of particulates and emissions that often drift into adjacent residential areas. Another consideration here is being mindful of human health issues that are actually EXACERBATED by urban forests, for example, reducing locally recognized sources of plant-based allergens by using fewer male trees to reduce pollen or avoiding species that are known for causing increased allergenic response.
     

    Photo: Adobe photostock of Providence, RI from American Forests
  • So, strategy three is about maintaining and increasing the extent of urban forests and vegetative cover. So obviously tree planting is one way to increase vegetative cover, but this strategy also covers things like preventing forest loss and fragmentation or development other uses, as well as efforts to maintain the integrity of the current forest canopy. This might also look like restricting development in priority areas by acquiring property for preserves or using conservation easements on private land holdings to protect natural land cover or maintain corridors between natural areas.
  • These next three strategies are all focused on practices that increase the overall resilience of urban forests to a variety of climate pressures. An example action for strategy 4 is to switch to permeable paving, suspended surfaces, or Silva Cells to enable trees ample growing space and this really allows for fundamental function of capturing runoff, which we know we are going to have more of with extreme precip events.
    An example action for strategy 5 is implementing structural pruning program to improve tree health and ability to withstand extreme weather events, so really reducing the physical impact of those more frequent storm events.
    Lastly there are a ton of great options for strategy 6, obviously higher species diversity can greatly help buffer against the negative impacts of widespread tree mortality that we may be unable to predict. Promoting diverse age classes by enacting tree ordinances to protect older trees which we know have the greatest carbon and shade benefits.
  • This strategy is about being proactive in trying to anticipate future conditions and move systems towards those conditions. This can include actions such as encouraging southern species that may have already established themselves in natural areas, or it may look like planting street trees of new species, genotypes, and cultivars that are expected to be better adapted to future conditions. A great time to make these kinds of anticipatory shifts is when revegetating and remediating sites after major disturbances, which we are experiencing more frequently. So this gives us a chance to shift species composition in a way that is aligned with future climate conditions and management goals.
  • These final two strategies refocus on human health but more from a mental health and social cohesion perspective, knowing that natural spaces promote health and healing, and that green infrastructure can be used strategically for health and community benefits. There are tons of fantastic and creative examples of Strategy 8, including X. Also another one I think is some important is to use vegetation to reduce the negative effects of chronic noise exposure. Finally, Strategy 9 emphasizes that whenever possible, we should use these approaches as opportunities to tie together climate adaptation and human health and encourage co-benefits, so to XYZ.
    ----
    An example of this might be that if you had a green infrastructure project that was designed to address issues related to stormwater or flooding, you could design that more intentionally as a pocket park or greenspace that would enable people to also connect with nature and also understand the importance of that space in the context of the ecosystem service it is providing.
  • So hopefully those get you excited about all of the possibilities there are with this work, and to learn about how folks have put these strategies into action across the country you can explore our collection of adaptation demonstrations projects on our website, forestadaptation.org. There are many fantastic examples of places that have worked with NIACS to develop adaptation plans for their urban or community forest, and you can sort by major urban areas by going to this link on the left, or you can access all of our demonstration projects and filter for just the urban ones by using the link on the right.
  • Lastly, I wanted to share this great feature article in Eos that highlights 3 case studies from Austin, Durango, and Albuquerque who have all worked with NIACS, The Nature Conservancy, and other organizations to incorporate climate adaptation into their urban and community forest management. So I encourage you all to check that out if you get a chance.
  • Alright! Thank you so much for listening. Here is my contact information, I would be happy to hear from any of you and I can take any questions right now, but I also wanted to plug that you can… right after this – as an indoor option for the afternoon, I know there are a lot of awesome field experiences being offered to you all today but if you’re not feeling up for those or you get back early, you can visit our partners from American Forests in their Tree Equity tabling session. And ope, I also have your ceu information.

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