Author Archive: Susan Laszewski


Shifting Thinking, Shifting Forests

It’s been a discouraging few weeks for climate change in the news. First, we learned that atmospheric levels of CO2 have reached 400ppm for the first time in three million years. If that milestone wasn’t enough to put climate on your mind, new research out of the Lawrence Berkley National Lab has called into question […]

Old-growth Threats Around the World

At American Forests, we spend a lot of time talking about, thinking about and working to protect whitebark pine, a keystone species in the high-elevation West, as it struggles with disease and infestation, compounded by rising average temperatures. Maybe that’s why the story of another species of white pine facing its own set of struggles […]

A Very Wild Homecoming

Last September, Michelle shared a story that pulled our heartstrings: the tale of Chips, an orphaned bobcat kitten who was rescued by workers after losing her mother and suffering second-degree burns and an eye infection in the Chips Fire in California’s Plumas National Forest. As you may recall, the young Chips was recovering at Lake […]

Quiet, Please. The Tree is Speaking.

As sci-fi as it sounds, the news that trees make noise beyond the human range of hearing — and that some of these noises communicate important messages to other organisms — is not new. Studies have shown, for example, that some plants release pollen in response to bees’ buzzing. But could trees be saying anything […]

This is Your Brain on Nature

It’s not news that time in the great outdoors is good for your brain. We’ve written before about how exposure to nature is good for creative problem solving and mental health. But how can we determine how much of this relationship is causal when there could be other reasons for correlation? Well, a new study […]

Give a Peep for Birds

American Bird Conservancy’s current Bird of the Week has been drawing a lot of attention. For the second time, they have declared the bird of the week to be the peep — that marshmallow treat so popular this time of year. Though the peep has earned the honor once before, in 2011, only the yellow […]

Cooperation for Water

Happy World Water Day, everyone, Yesterday, we celebrated the International Day of Forests, declared as such by the UN just last year. But today is another important day, which was first designated by the UN way back in 1993. It’s World Water Day, a day to reflect on the importance of freshwater and to advocate […]

Mad for Big Trees

Have you heard the word? March is a month of madness in more ways than one! Today marks the opening of American Forests’ “Big Tree Madness!” We’re asking you to help us choose the Ultimate Big Tree from our carefully selected Sweet Sixteen. Will it be the towering western redcedar, giant among giants in Olympic […]

At the Sign of the Flying Goose

Normally, geese fly south for the winter in flocks, returning in the spring and recognizable in their famous “v-formation.” But, there’s a singular goose that you can see flying solo year round in both Maine and Florida. You’ll see the same goose as far out into the Atlantic as the U.S. Virgin Islands and in […]

A Menace to Maples

If it wasn’t enough of a threat to America’s sweet tooth that climate change may affect maple syrup yields in the next 50 years, the sugar maple is facing another threat as well — an invasive pest. We’re wrapping up Invasive Species Awareness Week by shining the spotlight on a tiny pest with big consequences: […]