Clearing the Air


by Loose Leaf Team
Air pollution in New York City’s Washington HeightsBy Michelle Werts "Air pollution is causing more deaths than HIV or malaria combined," Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, told a conference in Oslo trying to work out new U.N. development goals for 2030. –The Huffington Post Green, April 9, 2013 Sometimes, when talking about air pollution, we get so caught up in the web of science and climate change that we forget about one of the basics: Air pollution is bad for you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, poor air quality can: Irritate the respiratory system. Reduce lung function. Inflame and damage the cells t... (Read More)



Fire in the Wildland-Urban Interface


by Amanda Tai
Credit: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region/Flickr There remains a constant tension between the ecological benefits provided by periodic wildfire and the negative impacts it can have on human populations. Most often, we hear about the devastating effect that wildfires have on people and communities, which was especially tragic over the weekend. American Forests sends our condolences to the families and friends of the firefighters who lost their lives battling the Arizona forest fires. One of the reasons the news is so often negative these days is because wildfire seasons are longer and more intense than ever before. America's wildfire season lasts about two months longer than it did in... (Read More)



Urban Forests & Carbon Markets


by American Forests Science Advisory Board
An urban tree planting projectBy Dr. E. Gregory McPherson, American Forests Science Advisory Board Member with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station Editor’s Note: For a brief introduction to the issues discussed in today’s post, see yesterday’s post, “A Carbon Market Primer,” by our Urban Forests Program director, Melinda Housholder. “Cashing-in” on urban forestry projects by selling credits for carbon stored in growing trees has been elusive. Several urban forest organizations have developed voluntary carbon market projects, while the City of Santa Monica’s 1,000 tree planting project is the only one in the compliance-based mar... (Read More)



A Carbon Market Primer


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Smoke stackEditor’s Note: Last June, American Forests’ Urban Forests Program director, Melinda Housholder, wrote a blog post detailing the tricky web that is carbon offsets and how they relate to urban forests. A year later, there have been some interesting developments on that front, so before we dive into those updates tomorrow, we wanted to re-share a slightly updated version of Melinda’s post as a quick refresher on the complicated issue of carbon markets. In June 2012, I attended a workshop in Davis, Calif., called “Urban Forests & Carbon Markets” that American Forests participated in and co-sponsored through a grant with the U... (Read More)



The Slaughter of Innocent Trees


by Scott Maxham
Golden Gate Park There is a new threat facing trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in September, park officials noticed 28 young trees that were damaged. While 28 may not sound like a lot of trees when you think how many trees are in a rural forest, in an urban forest, each tree is crucial. Then, there is the oddity of the event: In a normal year, 20 to 30 years are reported damaged in Golden Gate, but somehow, 28 trees were damaged in just one night. Fast forward to May 21 and more than 200 trees have been damaged throughout the park. An atypical number, which when combined with how the trees are being damage... (Read More)