Author Archive: Michelle Werts


Endangered, But Protected

Today is the eighth annual Endangered Species Day! In December 1973, President Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act, which charged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with protecting not only the listed species, but “the ecosystems upon which they depend.” And for the last 40 years, […]

Taking Action for George Washington

As most of our loyal readers know, our mission here at American Forests is to protect and restore forests. Simple, concise, pretty straightforward, right? Most of the time, that’s true, but sometimes those simple, yet deceptively complex, words require some additional explanation. So what do we mean by “protect” exactly? It means this: “Forest protection […]

A River Runs Through It

A few years ago, a friend and I decided to take an impromptu canoeing trip along the Potomac River. It was a lovely experience … until I attempted to climb out of the canoe and instead of finding myself on a dry dock, I found myself halfway submerged in the murky waters of the Potomac. […]

The Warmth of Snow

A week ago, many parts of the country experienced an uncharacteristic sight for May Day: snow. A lot of it. And while one’s first instinct might be to bemoan the cold, wet stuff at a time when spring should be in the air, with our changing climate, we may want to appreciate snow while we […]

Caring for Our Public Lands

I think it’s safe to assume that most people — at least the ones reading this blog — know about the U.S. Forest Service within the U.S Department of Agriculture and how it is entrusted with the care of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. However, what is less known is the fact […]

The Energy Savings of Trees

Last week, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a new act to Congress: The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), focuses on a very specific ecological service provided by urban forests: energy savings. The TREES Act would set up a grant program […]

A Tale of Two Mountains: Part Two

“Riparian areas are extremely important and, with long-term forecasts calling for drought and higher temperatures, they are some of the most at-risk landscapes in New Mexico,” says Ron Loehman, conservation chairman with New Mexico Trout, in People Restoring America’s Forests: 2012 Report on the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Yesterday, I talked about the intersection […]

A Tale of Two Mountains: Part One

It’s called the Land of Enchantment. From mountains to desert, from national forests to historic monuments, New Mexico is indeed a land of many wonders. Keeping all of its wonders healthy and intact, though, is proving a bit complicated. Southwest of Albuquerque lies Cibola National Forest, and within Cibola loom the Zuni Mountains. Here, delicate […]

Wanted: Wildfire

Wildfires are one of the most prolific forces affecting our nation’s forests. They are often intense and unpredictable — and are only likely to become more so in the coming decades thanks to climate change. They threaten homes and communities, which is why American Forests supports projects like the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape […]

Under the Sea

You know that old expression about “work following you home”? Well, last week, I had work following me on vacation. No, I wasn’t checking emails while visiting the Caribbean, but I did find myself reflecting on topics that are often discussed around the halls of American Forests and here on Loose Leaf, such as: Rainforest […]