The Robinson Forest is partnering with the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) Network to test silvicultural treatments aimed at climate change adaptation. This study will not only improve the health and function of the Robinson Forest but will also serve as an example of climate-adaptive management for the central Appalachian region.
The ASCC Network works closely with local managers, scientists, and partners to design a series of silvicultural case studies to test on-the-ground climate change adaptation treatments. The Robinson Forest was granted to the University of Kentucky in 1923 following a large clearcut and has since provided researchers, students, and outdoor enthusiasts a chance to learn from the nearly 15,000-acre property. The forest is dominated by oak and hickory species on dry, south-facing slopes, with diverse hardwoods on north-facing slopes and cooler, wetter areas. All 16 ASCC units are currently overstocked— leading to greater fire risk, reduced forest health, and the lack of establishment of seedlings. While the land has been used and managed by Indigenous peoples such as the Cherokee, Yuchi, Shawnee, and Adena for centuries before American colonization, the most recent impacts to the forest are past landowner management along with mining and logging operations from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Site Leads & Partners:
Jacob Muller and John Lhotka (University of Kentucky) are the site leads for the Robinson Forest ASCC Site. Other key partners include The University of Kentucky Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Kentucky Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Division of Forestry, and the Kentucky Forest Industries Association.