Category Archive: Big Tree

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 […]

Clearing a Path for Illegal Logging

The Lacey Act was introduced more than a century ago and was the first piece of federal legislation to protect against wildlife trafficking. Today, because of a 2008 amendment, the Lacey Act is primarily used to protect against importing non-native plant species and illegal logging practices. This act has been an important part of protecting […]

Fire in the West – Part 1

Last week I had the tremendous opportunity to travel to Wyoming and learn more about American Forests’ work in some of our western forests. The trip was eye-opening to the devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle and white pine blister rust. These two factors — along with the fire-suppression policy implemented by the U.S. […]

Restoring Forests to Help Prevent Wildfire

This June, more land burned from wildfires than in any other June in the last decade — more than 1.3 million acres. At the same time, there were actually fewer fires than usual. This pattern of fewer fires resulting in greater levels of destruction is getting more common each year. Across the U.S., we are […]

Thieving Rodents Save Trees

Usually, when we talk about trees and wildlife, we emphasize how important trees are to the animal’s survival. I never knew before working here that the reverse could also be true — that trees would be relying heavily on animals for their survival. New studies are revealing that small rodents known as agoutis are a […]

Tales of Snow Leopards and Beetles

By Michelle Werts Oftentimes, environmental news follows similar themes and patterns: forests are being lost to industry, development, climate change, insect and pests, disease, etc. Every now and then, though, the news gets flipped on its head, showing that nature is a complex, interrelated web — as was the case with a few stories this […]

Giving a Hoot About the Northern Spotted Owl

The Pacific Northwest is well known for its old-growth forests, untouched by humans for centuries. These diverse and resilient ecosystems are home to a host of wildlife, including the northern spotted owl. But unlike perception, not all of the forest has remained untouched. In the last few centuries, destructive activities such as clear-cut logging have […]

Weather and Urban Forests: For Better and Worse

In the last few weeks, many folks, especially on the East Coast, have witnessed the realities of urban forests — for better and for worse. With temperatures across the country exceeding heat records, urban forests have played a critical role in providing a shade refuge for pedestrians, cyclists and anyone stuck out in the heat. […]