The MFRC understands the importance of Minnesota’s forests in removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. The MFRC is active in climate-change policy discussions and encourages investigations into the role of Minnesota’s forests in mitigating climate change, as well as the effects of climate change on Minnesota’s forests.
MFRC staff participate in DNR and interagency climate change mitigation and adaptation teams. These teams track issues, legislation, and the scientific literature as a basis for developing recommendations and coordinating activities for mitigating and/or adapting to the effects of climate change on natural resources.
In a 2008 report, the Governor’s Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG) recognized the importance of forests in greenhouse gas reduction by suggesting that nearly 30% of the state’s 2025 greenhouse gas emission reduction goals could be achieved through forest management initiatives.
The 2008 Legislature directed the MFRC to review the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group's recommendation to increase carbon sequestration in forests by planting 1,000,000 acres of trees. It requested recommendations on implementing such an effort and an analysis of the number and ownership of acres available for tree planting, the types of native species best suited for planting, the availability of planting stock, and potential costs. The final report, Assessing Forestation Opportunities for Carbon Sequestration in Minnesota, was presented to legislators on January 15, 2010.
The forestry community in Minnesota has started a conversation regarding a cross-ownership approach for responding to climate change impacts.
Development of a CCRF for northern Minnesota will build on similar efforts (coordinated by the US Forest Service, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, the Trust for Public Land, the American Forest Foundation, and the Great Lakes Forest Alliance) to develop a climate change response framework for northern Wisconsin.
The CCRF is a collaborative effort among scientists, managers, and landowners to inform, communicate, and apply the results of several related climate change assessments. The overall goal of the CCRF is to identify broad strategies and more specific approaches to climate change adaptation for forest ecosystems in northern Minnesota, and help forest managers apply these approaches across all ownerships.
In February 2012, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science announced a new website designed to enhance collaboration, communication, and information sharing across the eastern United States, where three, regional Climate Change Response Framework projects are currently in development.