BURLINGTON, Vt. — Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC) Directors are pleased to announce 13 grants totaling $1.6 million of federal funding and $0.8 million of matching funding for research that will address priority issues identified by forest stakeholders in the Northern Forest region. The projects cover a broad range of concerns related to land use and sustainable forestry, rural communities and economic development, climate change, biodiversity, recreation and tourism, invasive pests and diseases, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
“I am pleased that the Northeastern States Research Cooperative is advancing this critical research on our great Northern Forest,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “The challenges facing our Northern Forest communities—from climate change to seismic shifts in our rural economy to invasive species—require advances in research that are both comprehensive and collaborative. This work will help provide the information and understanding needed for our communities to thrive, which is why I will continue to support this work.”
Federal funding comes from Congressional appropriations through a partnership with the research and development arm of the USDA Forest Service. The private sector, states, and other organizations offered matching funding to support the research on the Northern Forest and its 26 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.
“The USDA Forest Service has a long history of working with a variety of partners to ensure the sustainability of the Northeastern forests, and the Northern Research Station is proud to be contributing to the work of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative,” said Cynthia West, Director of the Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory.
Research goals for the program, as stipulated in the 2020 NSRC Congressional Authorization, are to sponsor research to sustain the health of northern forest ecosystems and communities, to develop new forest products, and to improve forest bio-diversity management. NSRC also supports a new Indigenous Forest Knowledge Fund (IFKF) to address structural inequities in opportunity for Indigenous youth in forest research and invest in the cultural and intellectual sovereignty of Tribal forest traditions, alongside other forms of applied forest research. NSRC will soon announce two winners from the inaugural IFKF competition.
“I’m thrilled to see the return of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, which has spearheaded groundbreaking research across the Northern Forest region,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “I’ve consistently advocated for resources to support the NSRC’s work, and its return promises cutting-edge science and research that support our diverse forest stakeholders and industries.”
NSRC received 50 research project proposals requesting $6.3 million in funding. All proposals were first assessed by a team of external technical reviewers.
“Projects put forward for final consideration were vetted by an external stakeholder review panel, which prioritized research based on the potential to engage stakeholders and to have meaningful impact to the region,” said Breck Bowden, NSRC Director at the University of Vermont.”
These research projects, led by researchers from all four states, will begin in 2021:
• Assisted Migration: A Viable Silvicultural Technique for Facilitating Adaptation of Northern Forest Tree Species to a Warmer and Drier Future World? Principal Investigator (PI) Heidi Asbjornsen, University of New Hampshire
• Escaping to the Northern Forest: Migration, Housing, and Community Implications in the Time of COVID. PI Jessica A. Carson, University of New Hampshire
• Evaluating the Efficacy of Audubon’s Bird-friendly Maple: Can Managing Sugarbushes for Birds Provide Additional Benefits to Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Forest Resilience? PI Steven D. Faccio, Vermont Center for Ecostudies
• Influence of Multiple Impacts on User Experience and Decision Making in the Northeastern Forest. PI Elizabeth S. Vidon, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
• Integrating Genetic and Ecological Data Using a New Circuit Theory Approach to Measure and Map Wildlife Connectivity across the Northeast. PI James D. Murdoch, University of Vermont
• A New Silvicultural Guide for Northern Conifers in the Northeast. PI Laura Kenefic, U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, University of Maine
• Pheromone-based Monitoring and Control Program for Browntail Moth in the Northeast. PI Angela Mech, University of Maine
• Predicting Density and Occurrence of Keystone and Umbrella Species Using Dronebased LiDAR. PI Alexej Sirén, University of New Hampshire
• Quantifying the Genetic Impacts of Forest Management Strategies on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) in the Northern Forest. PI Danilo D Fernando, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
• The State of the Northeastern Forest Carbon Cycle: High-Resolution Carbon Accounting for the Regional Forest Sector. PI Daniel J Hayes, University of Maine
• Vermont Town Forest Census for Covid, Carbon and Capacity-Building. PI Cecilia M. Danks, University of Vermont
• Two Indigenous Forest Knowledge Funds to be announced soon.
About the Northeastern States Research Cooperative
NSRC (https://nsrcforest.org) is a competitive grant program for Northern Forest research, authorized by Federal legislation (Public Law 105-185), with allocations to the program directed by the USDA Forest Service. Since its inception, the NSRC has funded more than 335 projects, engaging 50 different institutions, agencies, and organizations across the northeast. NSRC is jointly directed through the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and a designated institution in each of the four Northern Forest States (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, the University of New Hampshire in cooperation with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation in New Hampshire, the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests at the University of Maine, and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry). These institutions are all equal opportunity providers.
–Northeastern States Research Cooperative
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