Skip to main content

Experts Gather to Craft Climate-Informed Reforestation Guidance

Across California, disturbances to forests — including wildfire, drought, pests, and disease — are being bolstered by climate change, causing mass tree mortality and leaving large swaths of land in need of reforestation. To address these mounting pressures on the state’s forests, the USDA California Climate Hub brought together a diverse group of experts from private, local, state, and federal backgrounds to compile science-backed guidance on performing reforestation in the face of climate change.

Folsom, CA
California Climate Hub Director Steven Ostoja speaks to the gathered experts at the Climate-Informed Reforestation Workshop.

To accomplish this, workshop facilitators Climate Hub Fellow Dr. Aviv Karasov-Olson and Hub Program Manager Jennifer Smith put together a series of small group activities aimed at extracting practical knowledge of each step of the reforestation process, from site preparation to post-planting maintenance. Each small group consisted of experts with a shared regional expertise. The activities asked the experts to think out-of-the-box and look to the future, imagining how reforestation could be used to help increase the resilience of multiple forest types to different climate changes including variable precipitation, extreme weather events, and shifting seasonality.

“In a field where time is at a premium and we are often responding to the need for reforestation after the fact,” said Karasov-Olson. “The workshop was a great opportunity for participants to really sit with the question: how, if at all, should we adjust our reforestation practices to produce resilient forests in the face of climate change?”

The efforts of this workshop are part of an ongoing project, funded by CAL FIRE, and participants will continue to work together to develop climate-informed reforestation guidance to support private and public forest managers alike. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the workshop’s outputs.