Forests are an invaluable economic and environmental resource of Vermont. Climate change will likely affect many forest functions that humans rely on, including clean water, recreational opportunities, forest products, wildlife habitat, and colorful fall foliage. Some forest impacts are already occurring and others are expected as current forests try to adapt to environmental changes and a new forest evolves. Taking proactive steps now will help protect what we have while we assist forest adaptation into a new, uncertain future forest. This presentation starts with information on recent trends in Vermont’s climate then focus on ways to assess forest and tree vulnerabilities, and implement strategies to build resilient, adaptable forests.
This presenter is Sandy Wilmot, Climate Change Program Manager with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation. Sandy grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont for a bachelor’s degree in Botany and a master’s degree in Forest Entomology. She has worked for over 25 years for the State as a forest health specialist, focusing on long-term monitoring of forest health. The last 7 years have included work on climate change, forest carbon and adapting forests to climate change.