Nurturing Nature During Climate Change

by Leslie Sauer, Founder Emeritus of Andropogon Associates

Originally presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting, March 6, 2021

Native plants have never been more imperiled than today in the face of rapid and novel climate change. At the same time, they have never been more needed in the effort to confront this problem. This talk will center on two key concepts: the development of a user-built database employing the Floristic Quality Assessment method to evaluate habitats and the policy of ‘proforestation’- letting natural forests grow, without cutting, to their full ecological potential. The case studies include examples of the management of public and private lands, illustrating how homeowners, institutions, and the community can advance the preservation of native species while working to increase carbon sequestration and storage in our landscapes.  

Leslie Sauer, a founder emeritus of Andropogon Associates, is a pioneer in the field of restoring and managing native landscapes. She has directed the re-establishment of natural systems in a wide range of sensitive, degraded, and developed environments. Her book, The Once and Future Forest (Island Press, 1998, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2000 Merit Award in Communications), is a guidebook for restoring and managing natural landscapes-especially remnant deciduous forests. After decades of working as a consultant in planning and design, Leslie has been focused on bringing more natural science and monitoring into the planning process in a manner that is accessible to the general public. Leslie also is active in the New Jersey Highlands Coalition and has assisted in efforts to coordinate with the State with regard to forestry on public lands.