The critical role that forests play as a natural climate solution (NCS) is now widely accepted. Fortunately, many restoration and forest management strategies that seek to enhance carbon storage also benefit wildlife species for which more carbon directly corresponds with habitat needs. However, many other, often imperiled species rely on habitat conditions that inherently store less carbon -- for example, globally rare pitch pine barrens.
This potential trade-off between maximizing carbon storage and meeting unique habitat needs is often overlooked—in forest carbon offset protocols, in replanting and reforestation initiatives, and, more generally, in mounting public pressure to cease all forest management under the mistaken impression that harvesting renewable wood products will compromise carbon storage. This leaves us on management trajectories that may maximize carbon storage in some contexts, but that may ultimately undermine the restoration and maintenance of critical habitat conditions that many species of conservation need rely upon.
In this webinar, we will suggest that the lens of climate change adaptation may help us to navigate these potential trade-offs, and put us on a path towards jointly achieving wildlife habitat goals and increasing the resilience of our forests and carbon stores in an era of unprecedented change, using pitch pine barrens as a case study.