Category Archive: Big Tree

Dying of Thirst

By Katrina Marland Aspens are particularly striking trees. Their pale bark and bright fall colors have made them the subject of nature photographers, painters and even poets. But for the last 10 years, aspens have been disappearing. Sudden Aspen Decline — or the aptly acronym-ed SAD — has been a thorn in the side of […]

Going to Pot

By Michelle Werts On a trek through many of Southern California’s national forests, you might stumble upon an unexpected invasive species: cannabis. Yes, the same cannabis that is more commonly referred to as marijuana. The illegal production of marijuana in our national forests was first detected in 1995, and since then, the problem has spread […]

Say it Ain’t So, Smokey!

I remember watching TV as a kid and seeing USDA Forest Service ads with Smokey Bear and his famous catchphrase, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” I also just learned that Smokey’s fire-safety campaign is the longest-running PSA campaign in U.S. history! Last week, House Republicans considered cutting Forest Service educational programs, including the famous […]

Mountain Majesty

By Katrina Marland You may not have realized it, but Sunday was an important day. December 11 was International Mountain Day. Yes, I know, just about everything from waffles to pirate lingo seems to have its own day, but this is actually one to take note of. I’ve always been exceptionally fond of mountains. I […]

Storms Are A-Brewing

By Michelle Werts It’s fitting that in a week when climate change talks were heating up and concluding in Durban, NOAA (the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced that 2011 set a record for weather disasters in the U.S. 2011 bore witness to 12 weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion in damage […]

Here We Go Again

By Katrina Marland It has been an odd week of ups and downs. For instance, NASA released new satellite images showing that coal pollution has been drastically reduced in recent years; but then an international research team showed us that global carbon emissions have gone up 49 percent since 1990. It’s not uncommon to find […]

’Tis the Season for Giving

By Michelle Werts What does December bring to mind? For me, it’s a chill in the air — any day now would be nice, D.C. (this Midwest girl needs her snow) — baking, shopping and family, although not necessarily in that order. For many, December is also synonymous with Salvation Army Santas, Toys for Tots […]

Success Is Sweet for Rural Communities

I love Vermont and maple syrup. None of that fake sugary “pancake syrup” for me. I grew up in New England, where I was surrounded by a culture that embraced small farmers and local businesses like maple syrup producers. Thanks to a new grant program from the USDA, my Sunday brunches will now be a […]

O Christmas Tree!

During the holidays, trees in every community do double duty as harbingers of the season. In the town where I live, many street trees are ablaze with lights, transforming the shopping district into a cheerful and magical destination. Here in Washington, our headquarters is only a few blocks from the National Christmas Tree, which President […]

Between a Rock and a Rising Ocean

By Katrina Marland On an island in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough is a town called Kivalina. It’s a small community of just over 400 people, many of them Inupiats. Despite the rural location and a population that keeps mostly to itself, Kivalina is a town that we should all be paying attention to. The barrier […]