Highstead Senior Ecologist Ed Faison joined three other passionate scientists to discuss how different types of forest management can be used to protect forests for climate and biodiversity. The webinar, entitled Exploring Conservation and Proforestation Options for New Jersey Forests, was hosted by the New Jersey Forest Task Force.

In addition to Ed, webinar speakers included Bill Moomaw, Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy at Tufts University; Tony D’Amato, Professor and Director of the Forestry Program at the University of Vermont and William Keeton, Professor of Forest Ecology and Forestry Director at the University of Vermont joined the webinar.

The program explored the benefits of forests in mitigating climate change, with an emphasis on the value of leaving some forest as strategic climate and biodiversity reserves where forests are left to mature without intervention.

Ed and Bill Moomaw, who were co-authors with Susan Masino on the paper, Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good, focused on the benefits of passive forest management – sometimes called Proforestation, while Tony and Bill focused on the important role of more active management strategies, with all agreeing that maintaining New Jersey’s forest cover was essential.

The New Jersey Forest Stewardship Task force was announced in February 2022 with the purpose of studying and identifying ways in which the State can best manage its forests in order to fight climate change, prevent forest fires, improve ecosystems, and protect soil and water quality, among other things.