Thursday, September 16, 2021
Title: Ecology of the Possible: Climate Change and Forest Management in British Columbia
Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly incorporating concerns about climate change into management of natural resources. In the forestry industry of western North America, climate-linked wildfires and beetle outbreaks have harmed ecologically and commercially valuable trees. Further, scientists project that trees that are planted in suitable areas today will be maladapted for these locations as their climate changes in the future. I investigate how foresters and scientists in British Columbia make use of large-scale industrial logging for ecological purposes. One practice is called “assisted migration”: in anticipation of a changing climate, seedlings are transported to be planted in logged areas where the growing trees are expected to be better adapted in the future. I argue, first, that climate and forest sciences inform how managers project for futures and conceptualize uncertainties. Second, the existing conventions of industrial forest management shape the range of actions that may be taken to prepare for ecological change.
Bio: Adair G. Steig is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology, minoring in geography. They study how ecologies are managed, and how resources are extracted, in a time of global change.
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