Author Archive: American Forests


Smoggy Sequoias

By Katrina Marland More often than not, you expect a park or forest to have pretty clean air. Even more so if it happens to be a well-known place, located far from the nearest urban center that could be smogging up its air. But sadly, this is not always the case. Sequoia National Park, home […]

Geology vs. Ecology

By Michelle Werts Thirty-two years ago this month, Washington’s Mount St. Helens erupted and collapsed, creating a massive avalanche and a stone- and ash-filled wind that would decimate the surrounding countryside. Nearly 150 square miles of forest were destroyed almost instantly — and then the eruption continued for nine hours. What was once a lush, […]

At Crater Lake

By Katrina Marland When I was seven, my family took the first of many summer vacations traveling through the Pacific Northwest. We camped, hiked, fished and traveled to all kinds of places — from caves to redwood forests to rocky beaches. Some sites we saw only once, others we liked so much that we returned […]

Trees Can’t Swim

By Michelle Werts Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a place I’ve always associated with vacation cottages and well-to-do New Englanders. Little did I know that this set of islands off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is actually a hotbed for forest researchers, who are studying some interesting phenomena on this idyllic locale. First, there’s the case of the […]

From Sea To Tree

By Katrina Marland You’ve heard me talk a lot about how everything is connected. It’s a theme in the natural world that I find completely fascinating, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed this recent article from Yale Environment 360 about finding a connection between trees and giant manta rays. Yes, I said giant […]

Endangered Flora and Fauna

By Michelle Werts Today is Endangered Species Day. Originally, I was going to honor this special day by posting pictures of cute, cuddly, nifty and sadly endangered species — don’t worry, that’s still happening — but alas, environmental news that affects some of our endangered friends has crept into the headlines this week, so I […]

A History of Fire

By Katrina Marland Thanks to a particularly dry April, Arizona is kicking off the 2012 fire season with several intense fires. In the Mazatzal Wilderness, which spans Tonto and Coconino National Forests, more than 4,600 acres are currently ablaze, and an impressive cadre of 200 firefighters and 11 aircraft are working to contain it. Other […]

The Corps of Discovery

By Michelle Werts History books are filled with extraordinary events, fascinating people and unbelievable moments of discovery. Sometimes, all of these things come together, as is the case with one of my favorite moments in history: the westward adventure of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery into uncharted territories and their remarkable return — a […]

Birds of a Feather

By Katrina Marland What is one of the almost universal things that say nature to us humans? It can wake us up in the morning, relax us on a walk, be a taste of the country in the middle of a city and is even used in movies and television simply to say “it’s a […]

The Crown of the Continent

By Michelle Werts It’s called the Crown of the Continent, with more than a million acres of preserved forests, alpine meadows, lakes, mountain peaks and glacial-carved valleys. More than a thousand species of vascular plants, including 20 different tree species; nearly 70 species of mammals, including grizzly bears, wolverines, gray wolves and lynx; and more […]