Author Archive: American Forests


We Love Our Western Public Lands

By Michelle Werts Yesterday, Colorado College in Colorado Springs released its third annual “Conservation in the West” poll, which illuminates how much western residents value their public lands. Conducted as part of the college’s State of the Rockies project, the bipartisan poll of residents in six states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Montana) […]

A Dividing Issue

By Michelle Werts Last month, I talked about the connection between climate change and forests in response to President Obama’s inaugural address, but there was another primary topic of that address that could have implications for our environment: immigration. On the surface, immigration and the environment don’t seem to be the likeliest of bedfellows, but […]

Budding Out of Season

By Michelle Werts The old adage that April showers bring May flowers may be in danger. In a new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, a team of researchers from Princeton University reveal how a new model they’ve developed has projected that the timing of trees’ budburst will be shifting over the next century. What […]

Dying With the Trees

By Michelle Werts In the Winter 2013 issue of American Forests, American Forests Science Advisory Board member Dr. Deborah McCullough reveals how tens of millions of ash trees have been lost since 2002 due to the invasive insect, emerald ash borer. In new research released earlier this month, scientists report that the loss of those […]

A Changing Climate

By Michelle Werts Two weeks before President Obama took the oath of office for his second term, American Forests joined a broad coalition of environmental and conservation organizations that signed a letter encouraging the president to make climate change part of the national discussion during his second term. We asked him to “lead the public […]

Thanks, Secretary Salazar

By Michelle Werts As Washington hurriedly prepares for the glitz and glamour of swearing in President Obama on Monday for a second term, the president’s administration is dealing with a flurry of cabinet openings. Yesterday, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar announced that he would be leaving his post by the end […]

Beat the Heat

By Michelle Werts This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2012 was the warmest and second most extreme weather year on record for the lower 48 states. The agency reports that the average temperature in 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 3.3 degrees above the 20th century yearly average and […]

The Evils of Arson

By Michelle Werts Nature can be hard on trees. There are floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Then, there are bugs and disease. Basically, trees are fighting a lot of forces to survive, which is why it’s so disheartening when trees are lost deliberately to human folly. While there can be a lot of human folly to […]

Tigers’ Welcome Return

By Michelle Werts For years, one of my holiday gifts to my wildlife-loving brother has been a wall calendar featuring gorgeous photography of wolves, polar bears or anything else that really pops that year. This year’s calendar was “Wild Cats,” featuring the biggest and baddest felines around. I bought it with a little bit of […]

From Tinsel to Mulch

By Michelle Werts From the “most wonderful time of the year” to maybe the most dreaded: holiday clean up. It’s estimated that each year, more than 25 million live Christmas trees decorate people’s homes, businesses and other establishments during the holiday season. That’s a lot of pine needles! These trees represent just a fraction — […]