Author Archive: American Forests


Disappearance of the Monarch

By Michelle Werts What’s black and white and orange all over? Probably many things, but I’m thinking specifically of the monarch butterfly. Why? Because earlier this week, Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas announced that the wintering population of the monarch butterfly declined by 59 percent this winter. The monarch — which can’t be […]

Remember the Longleaf

By Josh DeLacey When Alabama became a state in 1819, up to 90 million acres (140,000 square miles) of longleaf pine forests stretched across the southeastern United States. That’s an area almost the size of Montana — an area larger than all the national parks combined — all covered in towering pine trees. Early settlers […]

Where No Tree Has Gone Before

By Tacy Lambiase More intense wildfires, drought and drier soil — these are just some of the negative consequences of climate change that can seriously affect the health of trees. But what happens when warmer temperatures actually make certain ecosystems more hospitable for trees? According to a new study, the arctic tundra is one environment […]

The Sequestration and Conservation

By Michelle Werts A little more than a week ago, the long-dreaded budget sequestration began, which is forcing all federal agencies to make five percent budget cuts to all of their programs, activities, etc. And as we’ve all been seeing in the news, five percent might seem like a small number, but it can have […]

Invasive Species: How You Can Help

By Tacy Lambiase As Monday’s blog post showed, invasive species can be really bad news for our country’s native plants and animals. From white pine blister rust in the West to the emerald ash borer devastating trees across the Midwest, nonnative species can throw ecosystems completely out of balance. But what can be done to […]

Revitalizing Los Angeles’ Backyard

By Michelle Werts For many Americans, spending time in a forest is a time-honored getaway: 42.5 million Americans or 15 percent of the U.S. population older than age six went camping in 2011. 67 percent of those campers camped in public campgrounds, like those of local, state and national parks and forests. Courtesy of the […]

The Green Budget and Advocacy

By Josh DeLacey The Green Budget — a document published every year to illustrate the effect of federal conservation funding and programs on our public lands and ecosystems — debuts today, and I’m out getting it in senators’ and representatives’ hands. Well, to be more accurate, I get to help put it into their staffers’ […]

Appreciating Our Western National Parks

By Tacy Lambiase This week, we’re celebrating some of the most important anniversaries in the history of the National Park Service. Grand Teton National Park, founded on February 26, 1929, and Yellowstone National Park, founded on March 1, 1872, are two of the most iconic and beloved national parks in the United States. Every year, […]

Taking Baths in the Forest

By Michelle Werts Remember when yoga was just a craze? Now, it’s just a normal part of many people’s workout routines. Might another mind, body, spirit experience from Asia be on its way? Over the last few weeks, we’ve been noticing the buzz in the environmental world over the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, translated as […]

Hummingbirds’ Early Arrival

By Tacy Lambiase Last month, we discussed the possibility that certain tree species may start budding earlier in the springtime in response to warmer winter temperatures. Well, animals are going to have to adapt, too, and some animal species, like the ruby-throated hummingbird, are already altering their behavior to accommodate climatic shifts. According to a […]