Author Archive: Loose Leaf Team


A Hospital Oasis Under Threat

By Michelle Werts Sometimes — oftentimes — it feels as though nature and development are locked in an eternal battle. Cities and communities are continually running out of space, while trees, flowers and shrubs need lots of precious space to thrive. So what is one to do when more space is needed for infrastructure, but […]

A Lesson From the Past

By Michelle Werts The Americas have been home to many storied cultures, like the Incans of modern-day Peru and the Aztecs of modern-day Mexico. But pre-dating both of these were the Mayans, who ruled Mesoamerica — the region from central Mexico to Central America — for centuries and centuries and who are renowned for their […]

For the Love of Trees

By Michelle Werts Earlier this month, the International Society of Arborists (ISA) announced the five members of the 2012 class of its “True Professionals of Arboriculture.” According to ISA President Colin Bashford, “The True Professional honor is a celebration of those who reach for and strive to maintain high standards of the arboriculture industry. Their […]

Preparing for Wildfire

By Michelle Werts More than 6.3 million acres across the U.S. have burned in wildland fires this year so far — and dozens of fires are actively burning. Often, when we talk about wildfires, we focus on forest land-management practices, which then devolves into debates questions about fire suppression, prescribed burns and thinning and more. […]

A Hoot in the Forest

By Michelle Werts One of my very first “science” reports back in elementary school was on the snowy owl. Years later, that same school system would introduce me to dissection via an owl pellet — much, much better in my estimation than the cliché of a frog. Through these formative school experiences, I’ve always had […]

Returning to Stadium Woods

I have spent the last three months interning here at American Forests. In the next week, I will be returning to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., to complete my senior year with a wealth of knowledge of trees, forests and the environment that I have learned in these past months. I feel like I have […]

Americans Head Outside

By Michelle Werts Last year, 90 million Americans (about 38 percent of the population) engaged in some form of wildlife recreation — from hunting and fishing to wildlife watching. According to a report released yesterday by the Department of the Interior (DOI), this equaled $145 billion spent on licenses, gear, trips and more — making […]

Completion of the Appalachian Trail

Seventy five years ago today, the 2,184-mile Appalachian Trail was completed. Finishing the trail was a huge task that took more than 15 years and hundreds of volunteers. Today, though, it is unlikely that the original volunteers would even recognize it with all the transformation it has undergone over the years. In its 75-year existence, […]

Weathering the Weather

By Michelle Werts Traditionally, in the U.S., August weather is described as the dog days of summer. (Fun-fact alert: The expression “dog days” goes back to the Greeks and Romans who noticed that Sirius — the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, meaning large dog — would rise at daybreak and therefore thought it […]

The Father of Conservation

Saturday marks the birthday of Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forests Service. He is known as the “father of conservation” and credited for launching the conservation movement in the United States by urging Americans to preserve the past in order to protect the future. When asked by his father as a young […]