Your Forest in a Changing Climate
Climate Adaptation Project Case Study
Jorg & Gloria Beyeler own 1100 acres (445 hectares) of land south of Minto and west of Grand Lake. It has waterfront at Sypher Cove, an old growth area along Sypher Brook, a significant moose habitat in boggy areas, and borders on the Grand Lake Meadows Protected Area.
Jorg is a forester and currently owns a forestry business. They have owned part of their woodlot since 1982, with an additional purchase of land in 2001.
Their main objectives for their woodlot include decreasing the risk from Spruce budworm, increase the number and variety of climate adaptive tree species, and maintain a healthy ecosystem.
History of site:
On the shore of Grand Lake, potential for strong wind
Evidence of a healthy ecosystem (rabbits, deer, bear, birds, mushrooms, ferns, shrubs, etc.)
Little to no slope
Little to no intervention has taken place, however some areas were pre-commercially thinned (especially in the Control area).
What has the woodlot been used for in the past (e.g. timber harvesting, firewood, farmland, been left wild and free)?
It is primarily a timber production property with approximately 92% productive forest land with the special features as explained above. The property has been managed extensively over the past 37 years with most of the property under active management.
What are your short-term goals for your woodlot (next 7 years)?
1. Reduce risks to the current threat by the Spruce Budworm by harvesting mature stands that have pre-dominantly Balsam Fir.
2. Complete an upgrading of the road network for the property.
3. Actively introduce and increase the range of red oak and bur oak species on the property by planting acorns and seedlings over the next few years.
4. Complete all the necessary follow-up activities and treatments from the recent 6 years of various types of harvest treatments.
5. Re-establish the trail network that may have been impacted by the harvest treatments over the past six years.
What are your mid-term goals for your woodlot (7–35 years)?
1. Create a succession plan to ensure the continuous management of the property within our family as I mature into older age.
2. Achieve a diversification of revenue sources from the woodlot; along with our other properties to reduce the dependence of harvesting timber to generate income.
3. Gradually shift the age class structure and also create a higher percentage of age class diversity within stands during this period.
4. Increase the percentage of ecosystem types and stands that become un-even aged and partially harvested on an approximate 15 years entry cycle.
5. Increase the woodlot’s potential to become resilient to the changing climate by adapting our management practices during this period.
What are your long-term goals for your woodlot (35+ years)?
1. Achieving and maintaining a long-term sustainable harvest level using multiple harvest treatments that diversify the harvest entry regimes and also maintaining a consistent forest growth and health across all productive forest areas.
2. Consistently increase the financial value of the woodlot into the future.
3. Maintain ecosystem biodiversity by achieving a reasonable balance of healthy forest conditions on the productive forest areas as well as maintaining some old growth ecosystems all of which would benefit wildlife flora and fauna as natural habitats.
Have you previously taken your woodlot’s ability to adapt to future changing climate conditions into consideration?
Yes, I am well aware of the need to create future climate change resiliency on this this woodlot and on all my woodlot properties. This includes aspects of climate change such as temperature warming, changes in weather volatility; wind events, greater threats from hurricanes, severe rain events, drought periods, changing frost conditions and a gradual reduction in winter cold temperatures. All these factors ultimately affect species range changes, insect and disease threats, wildfire risks, surface water movement and run off, ground water table changes as examples.
That’s a long way of saying yes, I have been making gradually adjustments to property and forest management procedures to hopefully create more resiliency on my properties by adaptive management.
Are you currently aware of what future modelling shows for NB’s climate conditions?
Yes, but haven’t really updated my knowledge in the last few years.
Do you think your woodlot will be resilient to NB’s changing climate conditions? Why?
Well, I definitely hope so, but the uncertainty regarding the rapidly changing climate conditions will create risks that are hard to predict. The main aspects of changes to our management practices involve focusing on species that will be more resilient in a warmer climate, changing the forest structure diversity with longer rotations and greater species diversity, improving surface water management on woodlot road networks, and protecting stand treatments from severe wind events as much as possible.
Sample plot area implementation
Species summary pre-treatment
Size of sample plots
Species summary post-treatment
Treatments implemented by plot
Shelter-wood cut to retain good quality white pine. Remove all balsam fir, spruce and poor quality hardwoods. Work was completed using a single-grip harvester and porter system..
To salvage fir and spruce volume before lost to maturity and encourage white pine regeneration.
Climate adaptive treatment:
Remove all balsam fir, spruce and poor quality hardwoods. Retain white pine where present. Plant red oak seedlings in openings, and protect from browse with protective sleeve. Work was completed using a single-grip harvester and porter system.
To increase diversity of climate adaptive species through planting of red oak seedlings and acorns.
Outcomes and monitoring progress
This section will be updated each time a site visit is made to measure the updated volumes and site conditions. The first anticipated update will be in fall of 2022, and then every five years afterwards.