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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research » Research » Research Project #443831

Research Project: Climate-Informed Reforestation Guidance and Support

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research

Project Number: 2032-12610-002-029-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 30, 2023
End Date: Jun 29, 2026

California is experiencing a steady increase in wildfire activity, which, to some extent, is due to the effects of climate change. In the last decade large fires, in addition to the drought and insect mortality have reduced forest cover across the state. As a consequence, the need for reforestation across landowner types has never been greater. And reforestation at scale has long been a challenge in California given the limitations in staff, seed and nursery capacity–but is further complicated by the challenges associated with climate change. There is a need to facilitate climate-informed postfire management responses with limited budgets and capacity to treat postfire landscapes at scale. The need for climate-informed reforestation that can support diverse landowner objectives and ecosystem service benefits, including watershed services, sequestering carbon, recovery from climate-related disasters, and reducing risk under uncertain future climate variability, has never been greater.

This project will: (1) Develop data-driven climate appropriate techniques for reforestation, specifically reforestation decision tool integration and advancements to the Climate Adaptation Seed Tool (CAST) by including fire data layers and tracking and integrating practical applications of the CAST tool suggestions from applied reforestation projects. (2) Through a literature review, expert intake sessions and regional workshops/listening sessions we will prepare region-specific guidance on climate informed reforestation and wildfire recovery practices for the general practitioner. These, and other on-going and to-be-determined efforts for curating reforestation support will (3) Provide technical assistance and materials developed or otherwise curated to be translated and supported in a way that is accessible for non-technical practitioners.