The Future of Oak Forests

Science & Management Forum
Hosted: May 7, 2016

Oaks are in decline throughout the Northeast because many of our forestlands lack the young oaks needed for successful regeneration. 

This forum addressed how absence of fire, proliferation of deer, shade-tolerant maples, logging practices, and climate change threaten oak regeneration. It also explored the importance of oaks to wildlife and how land use practices set the stage for oak declines.

Speakers & Videos 

Part 1

Causes and Ecosystem Impacts of Invasive Species: Spotlight on Forest Pests and Pathogens
Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Charles Canham is a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Charlie's work combines extensive field research and modeling to understand how forests respond to both natural and human impacts, with research projects exploring extreme weather, climate change, and invasive pests like beech bark disease and the hemlock wooly adelgid. He is also interested in how biomass harvest practices impact forest carbon dynamics. Charlie serves on the boards of the Adirondack Council and the Great Mountain Forest, and the governing board of the Ecological Society of America.

Acorns and Habitat: Oaks Support a Diversity of Forest Wildlife
Mike Fargione, Field Research and Outdoor Programs Manager, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Mike Fargione is a certified wildlife biologist and manages the Cary Institute's Research and Outdoor Programs. He received his M.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Mike ensures the Cary Institute's 2,000-acre grounds support research, stewardship, and educational goals. His research interests include understanding deer impacts on forest communities, predator-prey relationships, and interactions between humans and wildlife. Mike is a Steering Committee Member of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Invasive Species Management.

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Part 2 

Oak Stewardship: A Panel on Best Management Practices

William Schuster is an ecologist and the Executive Director of Black Rock Forest Consortium in Cornwall, NY. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. The Consortium is a biological field station of national significance, and Bill oversees dozens of active research studies at the Forest. His primary research interests are in ecology, ecosystem management, and environmental change. Bill has authored or co-authored nearly 100 publications and currently serves on the board of the Hudson Highland Land Trust.

Jeff Wiegert is a regional forester for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Land and Forests. Jeff is responsible for DEC forestry programs in the Lower Hudson Valley, which includes Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties. This includes management of 170,000+ acres of forest preserve lands in the Catskill Park, 35,000+ acres of green certified state forest lands, an active regional urban forestry program, land acquisition program, forest health program, and landowner assistance program. He has more than 30 years experience as a professional forester.

Anne Osborn is a consulting forester and a trustee of the New York Forest Owners Association. She received her M.F. from Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Anne is committed to land conservation and environmental education in the Hudson Highlands. She is Board President of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a board member at the Russel Wright Design Center at Manitoga, and a member of the Garrison School's Environmental Education Committee.

Jody Bronson is the forest manager at Great Mountain Forest. A fourth generation land manager, he received his academic training at Keene State College. His career at Great Mountain Forest began in 1976. Currently, he oversees all phases of forestry operations including timber harvest, wildlife habitat improvement, road building and maintenance, research assistance, and the supervision of student forestry interns. Jody is a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Forest Guild. 

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Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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