Forest Management for Carbon Sequestration and Climate Adaptation

Todd A Ontl, Maria K Janowiak, Christopher W Swanston, Jad Daley, Stephen Handler, Meredith Cornett, Steve Hagenbuch, Cathy Handrick, Liza Mccarthy, Nancy Patch
Created: 10/30/2020 -


The importance of forests for sequestering carbon has created widespread interest among land managers for identifying actions that maintain or enhance carbon storage in forests. Managing for forest carbon under changing climatic conditions underscores a need for resources that help identify adaptation actions that align with carbon management. We developed the Forest Carbon Management Menu to help translate broad carbon management concepts into actionable tactics that help managers reduce risk from expected climate impacts in order to meet desired management goals. We describe examples of real-world forest-management planning projects that integrate climate change information with this resource to identify actions that simultaneously benefit forest carbon along with other project goals. These examples highlight that the inclusion of information on climate vulnerability, considering the implications of management actions over extended timescales, and identifying co-benefits for other management goals can reveal important synergies in managing for carbon and climate adaptation.

Published On


The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) has been designed as a collaborative effort among the Forest Service, universities, and forest industry to provide information on managing forests for climate change adaptation, enhanced carbon sequestration, and sustainable production of bioenergy and materials.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a Federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the purpose of the Forest Service—"to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."


Adaptation Phase
Sector Addressed
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate climate-smart guidelines into restoration
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Incorporate climate change into harvest/take policies
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Habitat/Biome Type
Sociopolitical Setting

Related Resources