Author Archive: Michelle Werts


A Dividing Issue

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 they can be […]

Budding Out of Season

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 is budburst exactly? […]

Dying With the Trees

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 ash trees may […]

A Changing Climate

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 discussion of what […]

Thanks, Secretary Salazar

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 of March to […]

Beat the Heat

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 1.0 degrees above […]

The Evils of Arson

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 discuss, I want […]

Tigers’ Welcome Return

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 a heavy heart, […]

From Tinsel to Mulch

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 — seven percent — […]

Beauty

Is anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed these days between tragedies in the news and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? I know I am, so instead of delving into another new report on the direness that climate change could bring, I thought we would take a moment to just appreciate the beauty […]