Neil Williams

Applied Forest Scientist

Once a year, representatives of Manomet’s Climate Smart Land Network (CSLN) get together for a member gathering, and 2020 was no different. Actually, it was extremely different; Zoom backgrounds and online presentations took the place of handshakes and forest tours, but the event went ahead!

The CSLN is an alliance of forest landowners and managers working with Manomet to understand and address climate change implications for their forests and their business. Over two days, July 14-15, CSLN members viewed presentations by forest scientists working on climate change mitigation and adaptation, shared their aspirations for the CSLN over the coming year, and discussed forest management issues with fellow professionals.

The role of forests in mitigating rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations was an important theme for this year’s gathering. Forests play a vital role in the global carbon cycle, and the forest sector provides some of the most cost-effective pathways to achieving significant emissions reductions. A fascinating presentation by Dr. Richard Birdsey—a global authority on forest carbon dynamics—reinforced the importance of North America’s commercial forestry sector in achieving the required reductions in net CO2 emissions over the coming decades.

A slide from Dr. Richard Birdsey’s presentation showing components of the U.S. carbon sink.