We're here to keep you up to date on happenings across the
August 2022
Since its inception in 2012, the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) Network has grown to include thirteen sites across the U.S. and Canada creating the need for us to find new ways to stay connected across the Network. In the ASCC Newsletter, we provide updates from the ASCC Network Leads and each ASCC site. We look forward to staying connected with you as we continue to work on climate change adaptation.
Message from ASCC Network Leads
Since our last Newsletter, two sites have joined the ASCC Network:
  • The Ohio Hills site is located on the Vinton Furnace and Zaleski State Forests in an oak-hickory forest in Ohio.
  • The Taylor Park site is located on the Gunnison National Forest in a lodgepole pine forest in southwest Colorado.
The last ASCC workshop we have planned is for a set of mixed mesophytic stands on the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest in November 2022.
ASCC Network Changes Ahead
Congratulations to Linda for beginning her new position as Dean of the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University on August 1st! Linda will remain the lead PI for the ASCC Network in her new role moving forward. This exciting change has pushed the ASCC leadership to advance our strategic thinking around the future of the ASCC Network given its recent growth and continual interest. We are strategizing around how to build capacity and dedicate our time and energy to the success of our existing ASCC Network sites, including formalizing our leadership structure and brainstorming actions to maintain a highly engaged community of practice on adaptive silviculture. There is resounding interest in a chance for us to all to come together for an ASCC Network-wide engagement opportunity. We are exploring the best options for how to do this in a format that will increase our connectivity, collaboration, and shared learning to more fully realize the benefits of the coordinated, robust Network of existing sites that make up our ASCC community.
Finally, a huge thank you to Kirsten Martin, our ASCC summer intern at Colorado State University! Kirsten has been instrumental in updating the ASCC website, creating outreach and engagement materials for your ASCC sites and the Network, and compiling this Newsletter. Kirsten will be graduating with a B.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources this December. Congratulations, Kirsten!
Thanks, everyone, for your dedication, innovation, and commitment
to the ASCC Network!
News from Around the Network
Taylor Park ASCC Site
The Taylor Park ASCC site on the Gunnison National Forest took a huge step closer to becoming reality with the co-development workshop at Western Colorado University, July 6-8, 2022. Participants included a broad range of experts and stakeholders in adaptive and sustainable forest management. Given that this area is a key watershed for the Colorado River, it is unsurprising that treatment effects on forest snow hydrology featured prominently in discussions and plans. The next couple years will be busy as designs become detailed prescriptions and monitoring efforts redouble in anticipation of interventions beginning as early as 2024. 

Photo: Lodgepole pine forests of the Taylor Park area sustain increasingly valuable watershed ecosystem functions. This setting forms the location of the planned Taylor Park ASCC site. Photo Credit: Jonathan Coop, Western Colorado University.
Ohio Hills ASCC Site
The Ohio Hills ASCC team, in collaboration with the ASCC network, hosted its scientist-manager focused workshop at Zaleski and Vinton Furnace State Forests in southeastern Ohio on May 24-26, 2022. Twenty-two researchers, managers, and extension personnel from NRS, SRS, Wayne National Forest, Ohio Division of Forestry, Ohio Division of Wildlife, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and Central State University developed three site-specific treatments designed to facilitate resistance, resilience, and transition of oak-dominated forests under climate change. Treatments will be implemented over the winter of 2023-2024, and pre-treatment data collection on vegetation and wildlife has begun.

Photo: Ohio Hills ASCC Workshop, May 24-26, 2022. Photo Credit: Jacob Muller, University of Kentucky.
Driftless Area ASCC Site
The Driftless Area ASCC Team finalized treatment descriptions in June. We owe all of our partners across Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin a huge "Thanks!" for their time, thoughtful contributions, and enthusiasm. A field crew is collecting pre-harvest vegetation data this summer in preparation for initial treatments (midstory removal) planned for this winter and spring.  

Photo: An ASCC stand at Yellow River State Forest near Harper's Ferry, Iowa. Photo Credit: Miranda Curzon, Iowa State University.
John Prince Research Forest ASCC Site
Harvesting and implementation of the John Prince Research Forest (JPRF) ASCC treatments was completed in early 2022. The winter harvesting was done by a local logger under close supervision of Sue Grainger (JPRF manager and site co-lead). The resulting treatments look great! Clearly communicating the desired treatment prescriptions to the loggers was challenging, but provided good learning lessons regarding the operational implementation of adaptive silviculture in Western Canada. In May, field crews began relocating the pre-harvest sample plots and measuring retained forest structure and vegetation. Treatment impacts on wildlife and ecosystem services are a key focus, and research teams have been busy collecting data.

Photo: Regional pathologist teaching the JPRF field crew how to identify fungal pathogens in a newly harvested treatment site. Photo Credit: Ché Elkin, University of Northern British Columbia.
Colorado State Forest ASCC Site
Our crews continue to collect the pre-treatment conditions for our Colorado State Forest study site. By the end of the summer we should have enough data to fine tune the prescriptions and start the layout for the timber sale.  

Photo: Field crews continue to collect pre-treatment data in the high elevation Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of Colorado. Photo Credit: Vausha Snyder, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute.
Southern New England
Exurban Affiliate ASCC Site
The initial exurban oak affiliate ASCC site was established at Mohegan State Forest where severe oak mortality from back-to-back years of drought and spongy moth defoliation was present. Resistance, resilience, and transition treatments were developed in fall 2020 and implemented in early 2022 on 5-7 acre blocks. Additional replicate sites are being established in an oak/hickory site in CT with slightly less mortality, and one in RI with greater mortality. A highlight is a recent tour to observe the treatments and resulting oak regeneration attended by the Commissioner of CT-Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, other state staff, and University of Connecticut faculty and students.

Photo: The group discusses the adaptive silviculture treatments conducted at Mohegan State Forest, CT, during a field tour. Photo Credit: Amanda Bunce, University of Connecticut.
Crosby Farm Regional Park
Urban Affiliate ASCC Site
The Crosby Farm ASCC site continues to grow both scientifically and culturally. We have entered the third season of data collection at the site, and are analyzing preliminary data on growth and survival across the three treatments. One graduate student will be finishing her thesis this coming year, and we will be welcoming a PhD student in the fall. Through a partnership with the Lower Phalen Creek Project, we have installed signs designed by a local Dakota artist and featuring Dakota and Ojibwe language that talk about both the cultural significance of the trees and the scientific questions in the experiment. 

Photo: Art displayed at the "Transition" plots at Crosby Farm. Art By Willard Malebear, North Hennepin Community College.
Petawawa Research Forest ASCC Site
In 2021, we had a successful field campaign during which we completed all pre-treatment assessments. Harvesting operations commenced in November and were completed by the end of February 2022. The team really appreciates the hard work and diligence of our summer staff, the Petawawa Research Forest (PRF) staff who planned and oversaw the harvest, and the contractor who completed the harvest. All this work is building a solid foundation for the successful implementation of our study at the PRF. We have delivered four presentations on the study through May 2022 and at least three other conference presentations are scheduled this year.

Photo: Post-harvest conditions at PRF-ASCC 1) Uniform shelterwood for “Business as usual” Control and Resistance, 2) Expanding gap irregular shelterwood for Resilience, and 3) Clearcut with seed trees for Transition. Photo Credit: Mike Hoepting, Natural Resources Canada.
Flathead National Forest/
Coram Experimental Forest ASCC Site
This year the mechanical treatments have been completed on the Northern Rockies ASCC site! Cutting began in 2019, was on hiatus for 2020 due to contractor's market flexibilities, resumed winter of 2021-22, and site preparation finished in 2022.

Photo: Resilience treatment following logging, slash piling, and limited scalping. June 2022. Photo credit: Justin Crotteau, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Second College Grant ASCC Site
The New England ASCC installation served as the location for several tours and workshops for forest and wildlife managers in the northeastern U.S. in 2021, including the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Managers Habitat Technical Committee Annual Meeting in August and the New Hampshire Mud Season Breakfast in September. These events included over 100 participants and featured presentations on research happening at the ASCC site and field tours of the installation.

Photo: University of Vermont PhD student Alissa Freeman discusses Transition treatment at New England ASCC installation at Dartmouth College’s Second College Grant during New Hampshire Mud Season Breakfast in September 2021. This outreach event included over 80 foresters from the region who heard presentations on ASCC research and toured the ASCC installation at this site. Photo Credit: Tony D'Amato, University of Vermont.
The Jones Center at Ichauway ASCC Site
Predictions about insect populations and outbreaks are important for adapting forests to future change. The Ecological Silviculture and Entomology labs established protocol for measuring and monitoring insect populations within the ASCC site at Ichauway. The teams established transects for detecting downed tree boles across the study area. From these downed trees, individual pine and oaks were randomly selected for sampling. Cross sections from the selected tree boles were cut and insects are being collected from the dead wood samples. Monitoring efforts by the research teams will aid in formulating future silvicultural prescriptions for the stands of the study area.

Photo: Cutting cross sections from downed tree boles to examine insect species and abundance within dead wood. Photo Credit: Joshua Puhlick, The Jones Center at Ichauway.
San Juan National Forest ASCC Site
Another year of patience for the San Juan Dry Mixed Conifer ASCC site. However, things are anticipated to move forward with some changes in contracting and markets. There was also a wildfire a few miles west of the site earlier this year. We were contacted by partners at USDA, The Nature Conservancy, and Mountain Studies Institute about installing snowtography instrumentation to measure snow depth and soil moisture. We continue to work with them to identify funding opportunities. Once this site is harvested we will hit the ground running with our field campaign!

Photo: A typical untreated representation of the San Juan National Forest Dry Mixed Conifer ASCC site. The understory is dominated by the shrubby form of Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) and the mid- and overstory are dominated by Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and White fir (Abies concolor). Photo Credit: Mike Battaglia, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Cutfoot Experimental Forest/
Chippewa National Forest ASCC Site
Highlights for summer 2022 include maintaining the microclimate network and redeploying the rainfall exclosures for the drought experiment. Jamie Mosel, University of Minnesota graduate student, defended her PhD dissertation in July on seedling physiological performance during drought. Current University of Vermont graduate student Jess Wikle, University of Minnesota post-doc Lucia Fitts-Vargas, and former students Lewis Wiechmann (Iowa State University) and Jacob Muller (University of Kentucky), continue to work on papers from existing data sets. In May, MN-ASCC was featured in a story on forests and climate change by Twin Cities Fox affiliate Fox9.

Photo: A rainfall exclosure in a transition treatment. Photo Credit: Brian Palik, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.