Author Archive: Amanda Tai


More Cuts for Conservation

It’s a really tough political climate for conservation programs right now. We just saw the House and Senate propose programmatic and funding cuts to conservation programs in the Farm Bill, cuts that would eliminate at least $6 billion in funding and consolidate 23 programs to 13 over the next 10 years. Congress is moving quickly […]

From Farms to Forests

I’ve mentioned the Farm Bill in a previous post, talking about its significance for forests and conservation program funding. The comprehensive bill also determines national policies for trade, rural development, research and many other affairs under the authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The current bill passed in 2007 to begin in fiscal year […]

Rio+Forests

Rio de Janeiro is home to the largest urban forests in the world: the Tijuca Forest and the forest in Pedra Branca State Park. These lush rainforest ecosystems are home to several threatened plant and animal species, such as collared anteaters, brown capuchins, and channel-billed toucans. It makes sense that the United Nations would want […]

A Balancing Act

Talladega National Forest in Alabama is a prime destination for recreational hikers and wildlife watchers. It all began in the 1930s, when the federal government purchased an eroded wasteland and helped transform it into a rich forest ecosystem. Today, Talladega National Forest is well-known for its popular hiking trails, used by many visitors and Alabama residents. But despite […]

The Many Sides of Wildfire

Wildfire has frequently been in the headlines this past week, as a megafire continues to blaze through the Southwest. Two separate fires, the Whitewater and Baldy, that began last week have merged and taken over Gila National Forest, becoming the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s history. The Whitewater-Baldy fire has caused several highway and recreation […]

(500) Jobs of Summer

Memorial Day weekend is viewed as the official kickoff of summer. This past weekend, many folks headed to the beach or gathered at backyard barbeques to celebrate the holiday. It’s also the time of year when schools let out, and young people start looking for summer jobs. But unlike the flocks of interns that flood […]

Trees Make Urban Communities More Livable

I’ve already talked about the importance of trees in urban areas and the many benefits they provide — like increased opportunities for outdoor recreation, community economic growth and improved air quality. Now, the buzz around urban forests has reached the ears of Congress with the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act, H.R. 709. The bill’s […]

Help America’s Endangered Waterways

The Potomac River. Credit: krossbow/Flickr Yesterday, American Rivers released their 2012 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers. Topping the nonprofit’s annual list is none other than the Potomac River, also known as “the nation’s river” and not far from our headquarters here in Washington, D.C. Nearly five million people rely on it for clean drinking […]

Going With the Flo

You may have noticed that we have a strong female presence on our blog. It got me thinking about all the environmentally minded women that have blazed a trail for us, the likes of Rachel Carson, Vandana Shiva and Wangari Maathai. I recently heard about another woman who should be on that list. Her life’s […]

Farm Bill 101: Conservation

Every five years, Congress passes a massive piece of legislation called the Farm Bill. It serves as the primary funding source for food and agriculture policy. The current bill is set to expire in October, so the House and Senate are crafting and passing a new version prior to that deadline. The Senate Committee on […]