The Northern Appalachian-Acadian Ecoregion

A globally important place

The Northern Appalachian-Acadian ecoregion encompasses the most intact temperate broadleaf forest remaining in the world, and stands out in eastern North America as a center of climate resilience.

Despite the global importance of this region, less than 10% is strictly protected as parks as parks and wilderness. Another 25% has some degree of protection, but many areas are subject to intensive management practices that alter natural age patterns and reduce the diversity and ecosystem functions associated with older forests.

It is vital that we step up the rate and scope of forest conservation in Canada and the U.S. If we maintain and restore the landscape and its many interconnections, it could serve as a lifeboat for natural and human communities in the face of climate change.

Map credit: The Nature Conservancy in Maine
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A shared challenge and vision

Though much of the NAPA region remains in a natural and intact state, habitat fragmentation and loss are significant challenges. Key drivers are residential and commercial development, intensive forestry practices, invasive species, over-browsing, changing ownership patterns, and road expansion.

Climate change is and will continue to be a stressor and will present challenges for species with limited capacity to migrate or adapt to change. It will likely alter the composition of species within the ecorgion, and affect the magnitude and variation of ecosystem functions. There will be shifts in the distribution of species and composition of communities; climate change will also compel species to move within an area or migrate permanently. Climate change may also change how people live, work, and play in the region.

A landscape of large forest blocks, and intact corridors among them, will help safeguard the region’s native wildlife and plants in the face of these myriad challenges, while supporting the human livelihoods, activities, and values dependent upon a thriving forest.

Conservation must take place at many scales – from the town, village, and municipality, to the state, province, and country. Learn more about our mission, and read some of our publications for insight into how to move forward.