Data-driven Forest Management in New York City

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Leila Mougoui Bakhtiari, Kristen King

Publication Date:

This presentation will focus on data-driven approaches to natural area restoration and management in New York City (NYC). One-third of NYC Parks property is natural habitats including forests, fresh water wetlands, salt marshes, and grasslands. These unique and valuable habitats are stewarded by NYC Parks’ Division of Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources(FHNR). In partnership with the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC),NYC Parks released the Forest Management Framework (FMF)for NYC in 2018.This Framework includes a 25-year plan for sustained investment and comprehensive management of all 7,300+ acres of forested natural areas on NYC Parks’ property. It sets a bold vision for these urban natural areas based on enhancing forest health and biodiversity by reducing ecological threats and making forests resilient by planting intact ecological communities and species that are expected to thrive under future climate change scenarios. The FMF also includes a data collection, monitoring and assessment strategy to inform prioritization and measure success. By taking advantage of multiple teams and areas of expertise within NYC Parks, municipal staff are able to fully implement the framework without external assistance. Managing forested natural areas includes a range of activities including data collection, data analysis, seed collection, plant propagation, management, restoration, conservation, and volunteer engagement. NYC Parks recently completed the first fully funded year of implementing the FMF. This presentation will present the tools and analyses that informed the work, and give a local perspective to data driven management of urban natural areas.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program