Author Archive: Loose Leaf Team


Greening the Silver Screen

By Michelle Werts Every family has their own holiday traditions. In my family, we go to the movies — this year, Aunt Missy took some wee ones to a family friendly film to get them out from under busy, cooking feet. But while going to the movies might be a favorite holiday pastime — or […]

Happy Holidays!

By Katrina Marland & Michelle Werts   Happy holidays from the American Forests family to yours! May they be filled with peace, love and joy — and green living.

A Wise Man’s Gift No More

By Katrina Marland Gold, frankincense and myrrh. I’ve heard the story since I was a child, and frankly, other than gold, I never had any idea what those three wise men were carrying as they trekked across the desert. Recently, I’ve learned a bit more: apparently myrrh and frankincense are oil and perfume, respectively; each […]

Messing With Texas

By Michelle Werts Apparently, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that you “Don’t mess with Texas.” First, there were the fires: 27,411 of them in 2011 through November 21 that destroyed almost four million acres. That’s 47 percent of the acreage burned by fire in the entire country for 2011. Almost 3,000 homes were ravaged […]

Raindrops Keep Falling

By Katrina Marland When was the last time you heard anything about acid rain? It’s been awhile, right? Though the issue had a good deal more coverage back in the 90s, it certainly hasn’t gone away. And now, scientists have discovered a new and unexpected effect it will have on some forests here in the […]

Brazilian Insects to the Rescue

By Michelle Werts Guava. It’s a juice-bar staple because of its abundant amount of fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid and other dietary minerals. In the wild, it’s a small tree, only three to 16 feet in height, with colored berries. It’s native to Brazil — and the Hawaiian forests wish it had stayed […]

Dying of Thirst

By Katrina Marland Aspens are particularly striking trees. Their pale bark and bright fall colors have made them the subject of nature photographers, painters and even poets. But for the last 10 years, aspens have been disappearing. Sudden Aspen Decline — or the aptly acronym-ed SAD — has been a thorn in the side of […]

Going to Pot

By Michelle Werts On a trek through many of Southern California’s national forests, you might stumble upon an unexpected invasive species: cannabis. Yes, the same cannabis that is more commonly referred to as marijuana. The illegal production of marijuana in our national forests was first detected in 1995, and since then, the problem has spread […]

Mountain Majesty

By Katrina Marland You may not have realized it, but Sunday was an important day. December 11 was International Mountain Day. Yes, I know, just about everything from waffles to pirate lingo seems to have its own day, but this is actually one to take note of. I’ve always been exceptionally fond of mountains. I […]

Storms Are A-Brewing

By Michelle Werts It’s fitting that in a week when climate change talks were heating up and concluding in Durban, NOAA (the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced that 2011 set a record for weather disasters in the U.S. 2011 bore witness to 12 weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion in damage […]