Category Archive: Blog


Congress Increases Funding to Fight Wildfires in Legislation to Reopen the Federal Government

Last week, at both the figurative and literal eleventh hour, Congress passed H.R. 2775 – the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014. In addition to reopening the federal government and temporarily suspending the debt ceiling, the bill also provides additional funding to several federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, to assist with their ongoing operations. We […]

Tiny Beetles, Huge Consequences

A group of researchers from 12 universities has recently published a paper that takes a look at the influence animals have on carbon storage and exchange — an influence they say is often overlooked despite the prevalence of discussion on how plants impact carbon storage. Among the examples discussed in “Animating the Carbon Cycle,” published […]

Keeping Water Clean

By Lizzie Wasilewska Today is the anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA), an act that set a new tone for environmentalism when it was proposed in the 1950s. At first, it was controversial: It cost $24 billion, and Nixon, who was president at the time, vetoed it. However, due to overwhelming support from the […]

Forest Emergence Feeds Climate Concerns

By Marcelene Sutter The melting of the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska is allowing a 1,000-year-old forest to see the light of day again — and raising concerns for residents. For the last 50 years, hints of the ancient forest have poked through the receding ice, however, scientists from the University of Alaska Southeast have noted […]

Here, But Functionally Gone

Extinction. The end of a species; no coming back. Many conservation efforts strive to save species from this fate, and a species’ risk of extinction can also be a major factor in determining its listing as endangered. A recent study published in Nature suggests, though, that we may want to pay a bit more attention […]

A Colorful Fall Birthday for Guadalupe Mountains National Park

By Lizzie Wasilewska Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which lies on the Texas-New Mexico border, may not be a very well-known park, but it is nonetheless a fascinating and beautiful one. From a distance, it appears as a series of majestic mountains breaking up the desert landscape; close up, it reveals a range of smaller wildernesses, […]

Fighting Fire with Fire

By Marcelene Sutter In a recent paper published in Science, leading fire scientists in the West propose a solution to address the sweeping and highly destructive wildfires that have ravaged the region in recent years: more fire. The authors, including top scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, Colorado State University […]

Walk to School and Walk for Health

Did you or your little ones miss International Walk to School Day yesterday? Not to worry. As the occasion has gained popularity in recent years, the International Walk to School Committee expanded it in 2010 to make the entire month of October Walk to School Month. Of course, there are many reasons why it’s not […]

Self-healing for Forests

By Lizzie Wasilewska Forest recovery is an incredibly complex and frequently unpredictable process. It often requires outside help, but there are also ways in which forests heal themselves. Researchers recently discovered that nitrogen — a chemical that plays a major role in the formation of cells in many organisms — is crucial to trees’ ability […]

European Ash to Ashes?

By Marcelene Sutter European ash trees cannot seem to catch a break. Currently, an ash dieback fungus caused by Chalara faxinea has been plaguing Europe, requiring research funds and the efforts and attention of scientists. Now, another threat to these trees looms on the horizon. As readers of American Forests magazine know from the Winter […]