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Climate Change and Minnesota Forests: An overview of MN DNR Policy and Management

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Presentation by Dave Epperly, Director, MN DNR Division of Forestry, at the Blandin Foundation sponsored Forest Values and Carbon Markets: Opportunities for Minnesota conference. February 25-26, 2009 at the Cloquet Forestry Center, Cloquet MN

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Climate Change and Minnesota Forests: An overview of MN DNR Policy and Management

  1. 1. David Epperly, Director, Division of Forestry February 26, 2009 Climate Change and Minnesota Forests: An Overview of DNR Policy and Management Forest Values and Carbon Markets: Opportunities for Minnesota
  2. 2. <ul><li>We manage 4.9 million acres of state forest lands for multiple values. </li></ul><ul><li>We help private forestland owners manage their forests sustainably. </li></ul><ul><li>We protect people, property, and natural resources from wildfires. </li></ul>DNR Forestry
  3. 3. Evidence Growing season length, the number of days between freezing temperatures, has been increasing since early in the last century. During the last 30 years the rate of change has accelerated.
  4. 4. DNR The DNR recognizes that climate change (i.e., global warming) has occurred at rate higher than historical levels . The rate of warming is increasing and is likely to continue increasing. This accelerated rate of change is likely due to many factors, including human activities.
  5. 5. <ul><li>The Governor’s Office </li></ul><ul><li>Midwestern Governor’s Association “Greenhouse Gas Accord” </li></ul><ul><li>Governor’s executive order creating the Governor’s Clean Energy Technology Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Next Generation Energy Act </li></ul><ul><li>2007 “25 by 25” legislation </li></ul><ul><li>LCCMR’s Minnesota Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan </li></ul>The DNR is not alone in recognizing climate change
  6. 6. Impacts <ul><li>Likely impacts of climate change on Minnesota forests include: </li></ul><ul><li>More frequent and more intense wildfires and windthrow events </li></ul><ul><li>Shorter winter harvest seasons </li></ul><ul><li>Greater pest, disease, and invasive species problems </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in the species compositions of forests </li></ul>
  7. 7. Our responsibilities to the citizens of Minnesota require that we <ul><li>Help mitigate climate change where we can and </li></ul><ul><li>Help our forests adapt to the changes they face </li></ul>Healthy forests are “cool”
  8. 8. DNR Strategy 1: Promote the conservation of natural landscapes by advancing the development of conservation-based energy sources . Strategy 2: Mitigate and adapt to climate change and its effects by protecting and enhancing the capacity of natural lands to sequester carbon and by improving the resilience of natural lands to climate change. Strategy 3: Increase the energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in DNR operations. Goal: Influence energy and climate policies and decisions so that they promote the long-term quality and health of natural resources.
  9. 9. DNR Strategy 2: Mitigate and adapt to climate change and its effects <ul><li>Develop carbon measurement protocols and incorporate carbon management into decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Promote incentives for improving carbon management on private lands and in private industry operations </li></ul><ul><li>Develop comprehensive management strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation on DNR-administered peatlands, wetlands, forests, and brushlands </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate monitoring systems and applied research to track indicators of climate change and its impacts and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation efforts </li></ul>
  10. 10. Questions? Midwestern Governor’s Association “Greenhouse Gas Accord” www.midwesterngovernors.org/energysummit.htm Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group www.mnclimatechange.us

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