Author Archive: American Forests

Fun in the Forest

By Katrina Marland So far this Earth Month, we’ve been looking at a lot of the great benefits that forests provide, from mitigating climate change to providing homes for wildlife and managing water flow in our cities. But today, let’s look at a completely different thing that forests provide for us: Fun! Forests are like […]

Happy Earth Day!

By Katrina Marland & Michelle Werts What does Earth Day mean to you? Maybe it offers an opportunity to volunteer in your community, cleaning a local park or sprucing up the landscaping outside of a school or office building. Or maybe Earth Day is another day to get outside and enjoy our beautiful planet on […]

Small But Mighty

By Michelle Werts When I first heard of American Forests’ National Big Tree Program, I instantly envisioned towering, giant trees — the kind that hurt your neck when you try to take in all their grandeur. But, my awe of those redwoods and sequoias was soon replaced by a love for the “tiny titans.” As […]

Father of National Parks

By Katrina Marland The conservation movement has been fortunate enough to have a number of truly wonderful figures over the years. Few of these people, however, are as recognizable a name as John Muir. This man was a naturalist, a writer, an adventurer and above all an advocate for wilderness. His work was so influential […]

At Home in the Forest

By Michelle Werts When you read the words forests and wildlife, I’m sure the first visions that pop into your head are pictures of deer foraging in the understory, squirrels running up trunks and birds flitting in the canopy. Forests, though, aren’t home just to our mammalian and avian friends. What would your reaction be […]

Champions Lost

By Katrina Marland When the National Register of Big Trees is released, it is always exciting. There are new species and new champions, often with amazing proportions and incredible stories. Unfortunately, this often means that other champion trees have lost their crowns — usually a bitter pill to swallow for those involved in achieving it […]

Pigskin Versus White Oak

By Michelle Werts American football first emerged on the sports scene about 140 years ago, around the same time that Virginia Tech was being founded in Blacksburg, Virginia. More than 200 years prior to those moments — back in the same century that America’s first permanent English settlement, Jamestown, was being established — some white […]

Protecting the Environment: Then and Now

This Earth Month, let’s take a look back and see how environmental politics have changed since the first Earth Day, 42 years ago. 1970 was a monumental year for the environmental movement. In addition to the first Earth Day, Congress also authorized the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and […]

Trail Trees

By Katrina Marland When I’m driving in a new area, I am one of those people who become entirely reliant on a GPS. I find it hard to imagine how people found their way around before this nifty invention — or worse, before even paper maps were available. But it turns out that trees played […]

A Threatening Insect Infestation

By Michelle Werts Every day, our forests and trees are under assault: from droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes to fires and climate change. One particular brand of threat, though, is often sneaky, small and numbers in the thousands: insects. Trees and insects can often have a symbiotic relationship, with the insect providing pollination and other services […]