Author Archive: Amanda Tai


Community ReLeaf in Detroit

Last week, Melinda Housholder and I, aka American Forests’ urban forest team, traveled to Detroit, Mich., the site of one of the Community ReLeaf 2013 projects. We had the opportunity to meet a lot of folks working on greening initiatives in Detroit and saw a lot of the city. It was a very interesting time […]

Fire in the Wildland-Urban Interface

There remains a constant tension between the ecological benefits provided by periodic wildfire and the negative impacts it can have on human populations. Most often, we hear about the devastating effect that wildfires have on people and communities, which was especially tragic over the weekend. American Forests sends our condolences to the families and friends […]

Funding for Urban Forests

A recent U.S. Forest Service study published in Environmental Pollution indicates that America’s urban forests store up to 700 million tons of carbon, which is estimated to provide a $50 billion benefit. American Forests Science Advisory Board member David Nowak led the study at the agency’s Northern Research Station by looking at field data from […]

Striving for Justice

Earlier in the month, I attended the National Environmental Justice Conference (NEJC) in Washington, D.C. Over the span of the conference, I was able to hear from people from all over the country who are working on environmental justice issues. Some of the speakers had been working on environmental justice for half a century! A […]

Urban Trees on the Hill

It’s been a busy week for those in the urban forest community. To start the week, the National Academy of Sciences held a workshop on urban forestry. Experts from around the country gathered to discuss the benefits of urban forests and how to best leverage them to move research and policies forward. On Wednesday, the […]

Urban Forests on a National Stage

According to the U.S. Forest Service, Washington D.C., is often referred to as the “city of trees” because of its unique layout and landscapes. A huge component of the city’s urban forest is the National Mall. Millions of people visit the National Mall and its surrounding memorials and museums each year. On January 20, 2009, […]

Securing Rural Schools

Yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that $323 million will be allocated to 41 states and Puerto Rico as part of a one-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRS). For those of you who aren’t familiar with the SRS bill, it first passed in 2000 at a time […]

Fighting for the Farm Bill

Last week’s fiscal cliff deal included a nine-month extension for the Farm Bill. While the deal doesn’t provide mandatory funding to energy programs in the Farm Bill, it does extend most conservation provisions that are already (or set to be) expired, like the Wetlands Reserve Program and Healthy Forests Reserve Program. Other programs like EQIP, […]

Cliff Hanger

As most people celebrated the New Year with confetti and champagne, Congress was on Capitol Hill trying to reach a last-minute agreement. The New Year’s negotiations finally ended when House Republicans agreed to a deal passed in the Senate, which was pulled together by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But even though […]

Global Ambition

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18) wrapped up last week in Doha, Qatar. Here’s a recap of what happened. In the final hours of the conference on Saturday, representatives from nearly 200 countries decided on a final deal called the Doha Climate Gateway, an extension of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020 with the hopes of […]