Category Archive: Big Tree

Changing Wildfire Policy for a Changing Climate

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that fire is a natural part of a forest’s life cycle that helps replenish soil nutrients. It’s for this reason that wildfires are usually allowed to burn out on their own , granted that they remain at a low intensity and are far from developed areas. However, a new U.S. […]

Pesky Pachyderms

When I think of elephants, big, friendly giants come to mind. This said, I would much rather prefer to enjoy the friendly giants, weighing up to 16,500 pounds and standing close to 13 feet tall, with the comfort of a fence between us. New studies show, though, that it is trees that need to worry […]

Carbon-rich Coastlines

By Michelle Werts At American Forests, we’ve long recognized the importance of mangrove forests — by doing reforestation work for them and discussing them in our magazine and right here on Loose Leaf — and according to new research, protecting these forests should be seen as an affordable way to offset CO2 emissions. Mangrove forests, […]

Palms From the Past

Imagine taking tropical vacations to Antarctica. While that might seem like a stretch, new studies reveal that around 52 million years ago, palm trees were growing along the edge of the now ice-covered Antarctica. On Antarctica’s eastern coast researchers drilled a kilometer deep into the ocean floor and found layers of sediment containing pollen grains […]

A Scary Picture

By Michelle Werts As the well-known saying goes, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Well, how about two pictures? First, there’s this satellite image released by the NASA Earth Observatory of lodgepole pine forests near Grand Lake, Colorado on September 11, 2005. Now, the exact same location just six years later. Where did the green go? […]

Where’s the Water?

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that the world’s forests sequester 2-2.8 billion metric tons of carbon annually. A new study published in Nature Geoscience indicates that evergreen forests ranging from northern Mexico to Canada took up a lot less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during a 2000-2004 drought period, dropping 30-293 million metric tons below […]

Volcanic Beauty

This Wednesday, marks the 96th anniversary of two of Hawaii’s most prized national parks: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park, both of which were established decades before Hawaii was even a state. Back in 1916, only one park was actually created to represent the combination of volcanic areas on the islands of Maui […]

On Time Departures

By Michelle Werts I am fascinated by annual migrations. I find it remarkable that so many creatures around the world are able to make the same trek season after season, year after year, when most humans these days have trouble navigating without their smart phones or GPS units. However, the mind-blowing regularity of some species’ […]

The Oaks Are Moving Up

In a study published in 2011, researchers found that more than half of the tree species in eastern U.S. forests are not adapting to climate change as quickly or consistently as predicted. Only about 21 percent of the species studied appeared to be shifting northward. With warmer temperature zones shifting northward, scientist expected to see […]

Spying on Bears Live

By Michelle Werts A few years ago, I vacationed in Alaska, and while I was lucky enough to see some caribou and moose while in Denali National Park & Preserve, I must admit I was a bit disappointed not to encounter — from a safe distance — a bear. Well, on Tuesday, Alaska’s Katmai National […]