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Lovett leads forest policy initiative

Invasive pests and pathogens threaten the health of Northeastern forests. Cary Institute ecologist Gary Lovett has spent his career investigating the impact that species like the hemlock woolly adelgid and beech bark disease have on Catskill Mountain ecosystems.

Now, thanks to new funding from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Lovett will be leading an initiative to communicate actionable knowledge about forest invaders to policy makers and land managers. The goal: bridging the science and policy divide and protecting Northeastern forests.

Lovett is planning a series of workshops that will bring together forest scientists and economists, to distill current information on the ecological and economic impacts of forest invaders. Policy advisors will shape this analysis into a white paper with policy-oriented objectives. A communication campaign will connect findings broadly to media outlets, forest managers, and decision makers.

The effort is being done in collaboration with the Science Policy Exchange, a regional consortium of research institutions that includes: the Cary Institute, Harvard Forest, the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, the Ecosystems Center of the Woods Hole Marine Biological Lab, Syracuse University, and the University of New Hampshire.

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