Hello! Here at Loose Leaf, we like to take a moment to introduce all of our readers to new staff members who join the American Forests team. Well, it looks like it is my turn! I’m Ashlan Bonnell, and as the new Managing Editor for Loose Leaf, you’re going to be hearing from me on a regular basis. So, in lieu of a formal introduction, I decided to write you a special note myself so you can get to know me.
I joined American Forests at the end of June, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be combining my greatest passions: writing, editing, and conservation! I have always loved the outdoors and cared about our planet, but it wasn’t until several years ago that I realized I wanted to devote my life to conservation. A lot of things contributed to this realization, but if I had to pinpoint a particular moment that hugely impacted my decision, I would have to say it was the first time I watched “Chasing Ice.” The documentary follows James Balog, a renowned photographer, and his team as they conducted the Extreme Ice Survey, depicting in a profound and visual manner the rapid melting of our glaciers.
Conservation went from something I felt compelled to do to something I knew I couldn’t afford not to do. I began educating myself more and more on the conservation of our planet, and from then on, I was hooked. And, once I moved to Washington, DC, I knew I wanted to devote my career to making a difference in our environment.
American Forests offered the perfect opportunity for me to do just that. I am excited to be a part of many aspects of American Forests’ work, but I think I am most excited to share our work with the world. Forests play a hugely important role in so many areas of our daily lives, from helping combat climate change to providing us with clean air and water to reducing crime in our cities, besides just being staggeringly beautiful. American Forests has many great programs that help to restore these critical ecosystems, and I hope to share a lot about those with you. But mostly, I want to help educate and inspire others to value and protect the forests that offer us so much.
Anyways, enough about me! I am looking forward to engaging with you as we continue on the journey toward a healthier, happier environment!