Author Archive: American Forests

Big Mountains and Big Trees

By Michelle Werts The Great Smoky Mountains, which run along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, comprise one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world; they were formed 200 to 300 million years ago. A mere 79 years ago tomorrow, these mountains became protected as Great Smoky Mountains National Park after years of fundraising and effort […]

An Excel-lent Evening for Urban Forests

By Michelle Werts Last night was a special one for both me and American Forests. At the Association Media & Publishing’s 33rd Annual EXCEL Awards gala last night, we collected a Gold Award and an EXTRA! Award for our Urban Forests Case Studies: Challenges, Potential and Success in a Dozen Cities. The book, which we […]

From the Land to the Sea

By Michelle Werts Forests are important for many, many reasons. This is something we can all agree on, I believe. Sometimes, though, it can get complicated conveying just how important some of the things they do are. For instance, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written the phrase “trees help stabilize soil and […]

A Cautionary Tale of Birds and Their Trees

By Michelle Werts Which came first the bird or the tree? Well, I can’t really answer that question exactly without getting into a lot of complicated — and potentially controversial — details, but I can tell you that the two are intimately connected in ecosystems around the world. A study published on Friday in Science reveals […]

Hit the Trail

By Michelle Werts Sometimes, amid the scientific reports, reforestation planning and general day-to-day activities, it’s easy to lose track of one very important aspect of the work we do: recreation! Forests aren’t just oxygen-producing, carbon-sequestering machines. They’re also places for play and relaxation, and tomorrow is a day designated just for that: It’s National Trails […]

A Wild, Wild World

By Michelle Werts 150 million acres of protected land & water 1,000 species of fish 700 species of birds 250 species of reptiles and amphibians 220 species of mammals This is the National Wildlife Refuge System, administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), by the numbers. As you may be able to gather […]

The Spice of Life

By Michelle Werts Have you ever been in one of those subdivisions where every house looks the same? Or how about have you ever had to eat the same leftovers for several days in a row? In my experience, the first experience leaves me feeling a little creeped out, while the second can become tiresome. […]

Endangered, But Protected

By Michelle Werts Today is the eighth annual Endangered Species Day! In December 1973, President Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act, which charged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with protecting not only the listed species, but “the ecosystems upon which they depend.” And for the […]

Taking Action for George Washington

By Michelle Werts As most of our loyal readers know, our mission here at American Forests is to protect and restore forests. Simple, concise, pretty straightforward, right? Most of the time, that’s true, but sometimes those simple, yet deceptively complex, words require some additional explanation. So what do we mean by “protect” exactly? It means […]

A River Runs Through It

By Michelle Werts A few years ago, a friend and I decided to take an impromptu canoeing trip along the Potomac River. It was a lovely experience … until I attempted to climb out of the canoe and instead of finding myself on a dry dock, I found myself halfway submerged in the murky waters […]