Climate Change Impacts

Key projected climate change impacts that are anticipated for the Robinson Forest include:

  • Increased risk of flash flooding, runoff, and intense storm events.
  • Increased risk of drought stress exacerbated by longer, hotter growing seasons.
  • Increased risk of wildfires due to higher temperatures and drought conditions.

Climate change will present unique challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of the Robinson Forest, including: 


  • Combatting invasives pests and plants such as spongy moths and cogon grass. Both of these species, as well as other invasives, may benefit from warmer winter temperatures and elevated CO2 levels.
  • Both flash floods and flash droughts— flood or drought events that often appear without warning and are particularly intense but shorter than a prolonged drought or flood— will occur more frequently, which could limit plant growth and increase erosion risks. Towns downstream of the Robinson Forest have already experienced dangerous flash floods; this project will ideally inform managers how to sustain healthy forests that help reduce the severity of flash flooding and protect downstream communities.


  • Many staple species have high adaptive capacity to anticipated changes in climate for the region such as white oak— which is drought and fire tolerant— and pignut hickory— which is drought and flood tolerant.
  • Stand density reductions (tree harvests) provide the Robinson Forest an opportunity to increase forest health and wildfire resilience while stimulating the local timber economy— especially when high-value species such as white oak need to be removed.


Climate Change Impacts

Management Goals & Treatments

Monitoring & Next Steps