The Future of Oak Forests

Oaks are in decline, learn how land stewards can make a difference


(Millbrook, NY) Did you know that Oak forests are in decline throughout the Northeast? Many of our forestlands lack the young oaks needed for successful regeneration. When mature oaks are lost through harvest, age, or disturbance they are often replaced by other types of trees.

Interested in the future of oak forests? On Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies will be hosting a special forum on the topic. Event co-sponsors include the Dutchess Land Conservancy, Great Mountain Forest, New York Forest Owners Association, and Oblong Land Conservancy.

Discover how absence of fire, deer proliferation, shade-tolerant maples, logging practices, and climate change threaten oak regeneration. Explore the importance of oaks to wildlife and how land use practices set the stage for oak declines. Through an interactive panel, gain firsthand knowledge about how private forest owners and land managers can make a difference.

The event will take place at the Cary Institute Auditorium located at 2801 Sharon Tpk. (Rt. 44) in Millbrook, NY.  It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online at or call (845) 677-7600 x121.


Light refreshments will be provided. Attending this forum may qualify towards three hours of New York State required municipal training credits.


The agenda for the program is as follows:



Joshua Ginsberg, President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


The Deep Roots of the Oak Regeneration Problem

Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Acorns and Habitat: Oak Support a Diversity of Forest Wildlife

Mike Fargione, Field Research and Outdoor Programs Manager, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Oak Stewardship: A Panel on Best Management Practices

Jody Bronson, Forest Manager, Great Mountain Forest

Anne Osborn, Consulting Forester and Director, Lower Hudson Chapter, New York State Forest Owners Association

Jeff Wiegert, Regional Forester, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 3



A box lunch is available for a fee of $15.00. (Pre-registration is required)


Field Excursions

Participants will have the opportunity to attend one of two field excursions. Mike Fargione will lead a walk on the Cary Institute’s grounds, with a focus on how land use shapes oak forests, oak-dependent wildlife, and deer management for oak regeneration. Jody Bronson and Charles Canham will lead a walk at Great Mountain Forest, where they will showcase different approaches to oak forest management. (Participants must provide their own transportation to Great Mountain Forest.)