Following a brief overview of general forest climate adaptation strategies
, this talk will present one experimental project begun in Scituate, Rhode Island, in 2015, when Mr. Riely helped manage 13,000 acres of forestland buffering the reservoirs for Rhode Island’s largest water utility. Site work included planting both native tree seedlings and non-native species projected to be adapted to future climate conditions, such as shortleaf pine and sweetgum. To assess deer impacts on one site, half the seedlings were planted inside a large exclosure fence. While foresters monitor early results, the project has provided significant educational value through engaging public audiences and a professional community of practice.
Presented by Christopher Riely, a conservationist and Licensed Forester who works on a wide range of projects in southern New England through his practice Sweet Birch Consulting, LLC. From 2008 to 2019, he worked for Providence Water on managing the watershed lands surrounding the Scituate Reservoir, which supplies drinking water for 600,000 people in Rhode Island.