New England landscape in fall
Scientists wearing hard hats walking in the forest

New England Landscape Futures


Forest Pests and Pathogens

Scientists, business owners, government officials, landowners and non-profit representatives are developing four scenarios to anticipate future changes to the New England landscape.



Imported forest pests are the most pressing, and under-appreciated, forest health issue in the US today. Common-sense prevention measures can reduce the arrival and establishment of new forest pests.


People running in forests


Wildlands and Woodlands



A New England conservation vision to preserve our forests for people, nature, and future generations.





  • Harvard Forest Webinar
    The NELF Explorer team at Harvard Forest is hosting a monthly discussion group via Zoom to discuss how to apply scenarios and indicators of change to review and update conservation plans, strategies, and actions. The next meeting will be on Tuesday June 16, 2020 at 11:30am.
  • New York Times Magazine
    Science Policy Exchange project leader Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is quoted in an article entitled, "Can Genetic Engineering Bring Back the American Chestnut?" by Gabriel Popkin, in the New York Times Magazine. 
  • S3 RCN Outreach Product
    The New England Landcape Futures (NELF) Explorer is a scenarios-based interactive land-use mapping tool created with the input of more than 100 New Englanders who helped develop the scenarios and reviewed the beta-versions of the tool. With the NELF Explorer, you can visualize alternative future land uses over space and time at multiple scales including state, watershed, and town. You can also gain an understanding of how the different land-use scenarios would affect conservation priority lands such as wetlands and wildlife habitat.
  • Press Release
    New research by Science Policy Exchange collaborator Matthew Ayres of Dartmouth College offers eight tactics for combatting imported forest pests in a new paper published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. In the new paper, Ayres underscores the importance of prevention efforts to protect forests from highly damaging insects and diseases transmitted as an unintended consequence of global trade.
  • S3 RCN Webinar Announcement
    The S3 RCN Presents New England Landscape Futures Webinar #2 on Thursday November 2, 2017 at 2pm Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will feature a presentation by Joshua Plisinski and Jonathan Thompson of Harvard Forest. They will describe how the New England Landscapes Futures scenarios were translated into input for modeling and mapping future land use, how the maps were made, and how to access the maps.
  • Adirondack Daily Enterprise
    Recent news of the discovery of the emerald ash borer in Franklin County and the hemlock woolly adelgid near Lake George crystallizes the threat that imported forest pests pose to the Adirondacks. In a new op-ed, Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute, leader of the Science Policy Exchange forest pests project, discusses the growing problem of forest pests and what we can do to prevent another highly damaging pest from arriving and establishing.
  • In the News: NECN
    Vibrant fall colors in New England come from healthy trees, which means preventing forest pests, according to Harvard Forest's David Orwig. Dr. Orwig is a member of the Science Policy Exchange's forest pests research team. In this video clip, he discusses protecting foliage with NECN's Pete Bouchard. 
  • New Study: Environment & Society
    In a new paper published online in the journal Ecology and Society, researchers from Harvard Forest offer a tested approach for increasing the effectiveness of scenario development for environmental decision-making by facilitating the active contributions of stakeholders and scientists in the scenario design process.
  • S3 RCN Webinar Announcement
    The S3 RCN Presents New England Landscape Futures Webinar #1 on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at 10am Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will feature a presentation by Marissa McBride (Harvard Forest, Imperial College London). From 2016 to 2017, Dr. McBride spearheaded qualitative analyses of interviews conducted with New Englanders about their perspectives on the future of land use in the region, as a postdoctoral research associate in Jonathan Thompson’s lab at Harvard Forest.
  • Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
    Researchers from the Harvard Forest, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Michigan State University, Boston University, and CUNY were awarded $1.67 million from the National Science Foundation for a new project, Embedding Public Engagement with Science at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites ([email protected]). The team will collaborate with scientists, including partners in the Science Policy Exchange, to integrate public engagement into the cultures and practices of two LTER sites, the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and the Harvard Forest.
  • Science Policy Exchange Report
    More than 100 scientists, business owners, government officials, landowners and non-profit representatives collaborated to develop four scenarios describing possible trends and impacts of future landscape change in New England. 
  • In the News: Washington Post
    The US is subject to the introduction of 2.5 new invasive insects into its forests ever year, according to a comprehensive new analysis of this problem, in the journal Ecological Applications, by Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a group of 15 colleagues from Harvard, the US Department of Agriculture, and numerous other institutions.
  • Media Advisory: Science Policy Exchange
    A press webinar and teleconference will be held on May 10, 2016 with lead authors of new study, 'Non-Native Forest Insects and Pathogens in the US: Impacts and Policy Options,' to be published online today in the journal Ecological Applications.
  • Poughkeepsie Journal

    Forest Pests and Pathogens Project featured in the Poughkeepsie Journal:

    "We've assembled a team of ecologists, entomologists, economists and policy experts," said Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute and a co-leader of the project....