Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change

The Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) project is a national, replicated, operational-scale experiment testing the effectiveness of climate adaptation strategies in silvicultural planning and on-the-ground actions.


The Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) project is a collaborative effort led by Linda Nagel (Colorado State University) to establish a series of experimental silvicultural trials in various forest ecosystem types across the United States. Scientists, land managers, and a variety of partners have developed five initial trial sites as part of a multi-region study researching long-term ecosystem responses to a range of climate change adaptation actions. Silvicultural treatments at each study site are developed using the Adaptation Workbook process from Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers and contain treatments that approximate three general climate adaptation options: resistance, resilience, and transition.

"The ASCC project is mission-critical for the Forest Service and is needed to help sustain our nation’s forests."

- Tom Schuler, National Program Leader for Silviculture Research, USDA Forest Service Research & Development



The site leads and managers from each of the five ASCC trial sites came together for a National ASCC Network collaborator meeting. All five sites came together to build community, strategize direction and opportunities, and strengthen the national impact of the ASCC project. The National ASCC Network also now has a website, which went live in the summer of 2018. 

Map of the United States displaying the locations of the ascc sites



Interest in the ASCC project continues to grow. We are working with partners in the Twin Cities along the Mississippi Natural Recreation and River Area to think about what an ASCC site would look like in an urban setting. Linda and Courtney have had many other conversations with interested partners about potential ASCC projects around the US and in Canada. 

The ASCC project leads and NIACS carbon team are designing a framework for assessing soil health and carbon outcomes of forest management decisions. The goal is to develop a large-scale soil health assessment approach to be implemented across the ASCC network to set the stage for future soil carbon research to assess soil health response to management and climate change. 


2018 Fast Facts

2500 people reached so far through ASCC outreach efforts

706 re-measurement plots

6 universities and 3 USFS research stations engaged in ASCC project research

2100 acres harvested or in the queue on the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change project