Author Archive: Amanda Tai


A Helping Hand for Wildlife

Without the help of a sign or fence, it can be hard to see exactly where public land ends and privately-owned land begins. Wildlife can’t seem to tell the difference either. To a bird, a tree is a tree, regardless of who owns the land. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), nearly two […]

Going Up In FLAMEs

Credit: The National Guard/ Flickr The western U.S. is experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons on record with blazes leaving over 8 million acres scorched, according to federal data. Damage from these fires has impacted areas from the Rocky Mountains of Montana all the way down to Southern California and Texas. As fires continue […]

Celebrating All That Is Wild

I’d like to take a moment to celebrate a major landmark in U.S. environmental policy that happened this week 48 years ago. Approved on September 3rd, the Wilderness Act of 1964 became the first piece of legislation in the U.S. to grant protection of designated wilderness areas under federal law. To protect these areas, the […]

Hurricanes and Habitats

This week, Hurricane Isaac threatens to hit the same area that was hit by Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. Ever since I experienced a flood firsthand, I have been in awe of storms and how extreme weather can have an impact on people and places. The memory I have of being evacuated from my home […]

Protecting Our Parks

Federal agencies are bracing themselves for a funding crisis with budget sequestration cuts looming if Congress fails to create a plan to reduce the federal deficit. To boost funding and support, could online media be a part of the solution? The Obama administration just announced a makeover to www.recreation.gov, the interagency website to get people […]

A Fight for Funding

Last fall, the Congressional Supercommittee failed to reach a final deficit reduction plan. If Congress doesn’t come up with a solution again this year; government programs are going to see some devastating budget hits. It can be hard to see how federal budget cuts impact our daily lives, but to give you an idea, this […]

Changing Wildfire Policy for a Changing Climate

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that fire is a natural part of a forest’s life cycle that helps replenish soil nutrients. It’s for this reason that wildfires are usually allowed to burn out on their own , granted that they remain at a low intensity and are far from developed areas. However, a new U.S. […]

Where’s the Water?

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that the world’s forests sequester 2-2.8 billion metric tons of carbon annually. A new study published in Nature Geoscience indicates that evergreen forests ranging from northern Mexico to Canada took up a lot less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during a 2000-2004 drought period, dropping 30-293 million metric tons below […]

Clearing a Path for Illegal Logging

The Lacey Act was introduced more than a century ago and was the first piece of federal legislation to protect against wildlife trafficking. Today, because of a 2008 amendment, the Lacey Act is primarily used to protect against importing non-native plant species and illegal logging practices. This act has been an important part of protecting […]

Giving a Hoot About the Northern Spotted Owl

The Pacific Northwest is well known for its old-growth forests, untouched by humans for centuries. These diverse and resilient ecosystems are home to a host of wildlife, including the northern spotted owl. But unlike perception, not all of the forest has remained untouched. In the last few centuries, destructive activities such as clear-cut logging have […]