We're here to keep you up to date on happenings across the
December 2021
Since its inception in 2012, the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) Network has grown to include eleven sites across North America with more in development, 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, four sites have joined the ASCC Network:
  • The Southern New England Exurban ASCC sites are located in oak forests in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
  • The Colorado State Forest ASCC site is a high-elevation spruce-fir forest near Walden, CO.
  • The John Prince Research Forest ASCC site is a dry, sub-boreal spruce forest managed cooperatively between Tl’azt’en First Nation and the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada.
  • The Driftless Area is a series of affiliate ASCC sites located in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

We have been working with many collaborators on potential ASCC sites and will continue planning workshops for the following locations:
  • Taylor Park on the Grand Mesa Uncompaghre Plateau in southwest Colorado in lodgepole pine forests.
  • Vinton-Furnace State Forest in oak-hickory forests in Ohio.

We have also received interest in developing ASCC sites in Kentucky, California, and oak forests in the Central Hardwoods region. We are working on finding ways to build capacity as we are constantly receiving requests from interested partners wanting to develop new sites in their areas and join the Network.
Thanks, everyone, for your dedication, innovation, and commitment
to the ASCC Network!
News from Around the Network
Driftless Area ASCC Site
The Driftless Area team had a productive in-person site visit in June 2021. It was attended by most members of our expert panel who represent management and science expertise across Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. We're looking forward to our workshop this December!

Photo: Participants in the June, 2021 Driftless Area ASCC site visit. Photo Credit: Courtney Peterson, CSU.
John Prince Research Forest ASCC Site
The JPRF ASCC planning workshop in June 2021 highlighted the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing climate adapted forest management in central British Columbia, from both a forest ecology perspective as well as an operational and legislative perspective. There is currently considerable uncertainty in future climate projections about whether precipitation will increase or decrease over the coming decades. This uncertainty resulted in great debates about what the main drivers of forest change will be in the future (forest health, landscape disturbance, recruitment), and how to develop silviculture treatments that encompass this uncertainty.

Photo: Katherine, Nicole and Paul doing pre-harvest sampling on a warm late May day. Photo Credit: Ché Elkin, UNBC.
Colorado State Forest ASCC Site
It was a successful field season in the high country of the Rocky Mountains! This summer, our crews installed 2/3 of the pretreatment research plots in the spruce-fir forests of the Colorado State Forest ASCC site. The crews took extra safety precautions after a mountain lion deer kill site was identified within one of the plots, along with afternoon lightning, but the crew enjoyed measuring lots of beautiful trees.

Photo: Lots of small trees in the Engelmann spruce-Subalpine fir forest. Photo Credit: Colorado Forest Restoration Institute field crew.
Southern New England
Exurban Affiliate ASCC Site
On October 6, University of Connecticut (UConn) investigators led a site tour for the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance (hosted by CT DEEP) for State Lands Managers covering the 20-state northeast region. The concept of the State Lands program working with University researchers was well received and there was a thorough discussion of silvicultural and logistical characteristics of the project. Prior to the tour, UConn Forest Crew students participated in marking silvicultural treatments working with State Lands Forester, Dan Evans, gaining valuable first experience in stand marking techniques. Students also initiated understory treatment (mid-canopy shade removal) and slash-carpet creation in the Transition treatment area for tour participants to view.

Photo: This photo illustrates a slash carpetcreated by cutting and lopping most of the small-stem, sub-canopy shade producers. Could also be done post-harvest. An admittedly temporary measure but intended to allow oak advance regen 2 to 3 years of no-browse growth under increased light conditions. Photo Credit: Tom Worthley, UConn.
Crosby Farm Regional Park
Urban Affiliate ASCC Site
Crosby Farm was part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) project selected for funding this year! Survival rates for first year growth remain high (over 80%). Two REU students learned about the project and supported phenology monitoring, physiological measurements, and maintenance throughout summer. We are working on signage that includes the Dakota language, knowledge, and art. Our first graduate student - Auste Eigirdas - started this fall! Hundreds of volunteers supported phenology tracking and keeping the trees alive throughout the summer, including watering by bucket due to extreme drought conditions. There has been lots of press and local attention, including tours given to The Nature Conservancy leadership team, Society of American Foresters, undergraduate classes and more! We have an awesome team!

Photo: Members of the national ASCC team join members of the first Urban Affiliate in a Transition plot. Photo Credit: Mississippi Park Connection. 
Petawawa Research Forest ASCC Site
The Natural Resources Canada, Petawawa Research Forest (PRF), ASCC Research Project Team is happy to announce that all of the pre-harvest data has been collected from the study’s 168 plots and that the project site will be harvested this fall and winter. The PRF-ASCC project leadership team would like to give a big “THANK YOU” and acknowledge the efforts that the field crew and PRF staff put in this year in order to make this a reality. The team battled through the black flies, mosquitoes, and various heat waves without any complaints, and kept everyone’s safety through the COVID-19 pandemic a priority.

Photo: The 2021 Petawawa Research Forest ASCC Field Crew Team. Photo Credit: Jeff Fera, NRCanada.
Flathead National Forest/
Coram Experimental Forest ASCC Site
While waiting for logging this year, the northern Rockies ASCC team reformatted and developed a seedling planting plan for 2024. Though implementation has been slow, this project continues to gain interest and excitement from local and regional partners.

Photo: Logs decked during autumn the 2021 harvest at the Trout Lake unit of the northern Rockies ASCC on the Flathead NF. Photo Credit: Paul Donnellon, USFS.
Second College Grant ASCC Site
NECASC Fellow and UVM PhD student, Peter Clark, completed his dissertation research, which focused on the initial survival and growth of seedlings planted as part of Transition treatments at this New England ASCC site. This work demonstrated the importance of biological legacies and extreme weather events in affecting the relative performance of assisted migration plantings in this region of the US.

Photo: Black birch and big-tooth aspen planted in the Transition treatment at the Second College Grant, NH. Photo Credit: Tony D'Amato, UVM.
Jones Center at Ichauway ASCC Site
A recent ASCC study in a longleaf pine dominated woodland highlights that infrequent, large-scale disturbances may influence species composition and structural trajectories in ways that were not originally anticipated. The ASCC study at The Jones Center at Ichauway was established in 2017. To enhance resilience of forests to droughts and fire, the treatments favored retention of drought-tolerant longleaf pine and xeric oaks over more mesic oak species, which have higher water use. However, in 2018 a severe hurricane impacted the site and surveys revealed the xeric oaks favored for drought tolerance were also more vulnerable to hurricanes. A better understanding of the expected frequency and severity of natural disturbances can help managers navigate these difficult tradeoffs.

Photo: Damage assessment following 2018 Hurricane Michael which struck coastal Florida near Panama City and had a tremendous impact on longleaf and other forests as far inland as Newton, GA. At the Jones Center at Ichauway the storm toppled 20% of the basal area in live trees that existed before the hurricane. Credit: Jones Center at Ichauway.
San Juan National Forest ASCC Site
Patience is the word we keep telling ourselves at the ASCC San Juan Dry Mixed Conifer site. Another year has passed, and the units have not been harvested. Labor shortages and equipment malfunctions were the cause this year. There is progress being made in the project area, but it is slow. Hope is another word we keep using - hope that 2022 will be the harvest year.

Photo: Anticipated forest structure and composition in the resilience treatment of the Dry Mixed Conifer site. Credit: Matt Tuten (USFS).
Cutfoot Experimental Forest/
Chippewa National Forest ASCC Site
We focused on station-keeping activities in the past year, with no data sampling associated with treatment plots. UMN graduate student, Jamie Mosel, did collect a third year of seedling physiological data as part of her embedded rainfall exclusion experiment. Also, we deployed microclimate stations and collected growing season data from those. Current UVM graduate student Jess Wikle, UMN post-doc Lucia Fitts-Vargas, and former students Lewis Wiechmann (ISU) and Jacob Muller (UKY), continue to work on papers from existing data sets from the experiment.

Photo: Josh Kragthorpe, NRS-UMN technician, downloading microclimate data for 2021. Credit: Brian Palik (USFS).