R5 Climate Change Integration Team

Assisted Migration Reforestation in Sierra Nevada Ecosystems

Assisted migration, the concept of moving species to new areas, could be a critical tool for reforestation and sustaining forest productivity in a shifting climate. To raise awareness of the science behind assisted migration and the need for a consistent approach, the Tahoe National Forest, in cooperation with Region 5 Ecosystem Management and the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), hosted a climate change science and implementation forum to address the topic on April 16. The forum, "Assisted Migration Reforestation in Sierra Nevada Ecosystems", featured presentations by PSW Research Scientist Connie Millar, who reviewed assisted migration processes in Canadian forestry programs, and PSW Research Geneticist Jessica Wright, who presented techniques for helping land managers choose optimal seeds for planting in a changing climate. Region 5 Regional Ecologist Hugh Safford discussed the need for structured and transparent decision making for relocating tree species as a climate change adaption strategy, and Region 5 Geneticists Arnaldo Ferreira and Tom Blush presented methods for identifying potential areas for successional shifts in forest composition during climate change. Gary Cline, District Culturalist on the Tahoe’s Yuba River Ranger District, presented the rationale for utilizing assisted migration in reforestation, the expected outcomes, and planned monitoring efforts on the Tahoe. Tahoe National Forest Climate Change Coordinator Tim Cardoza organized the forum, which also included a virtual audience. Program overview