Category Archive: Blog


Planning (Rule) Ahead

Most of us don’t think about the government every time we walk through a forest. But did you know that behind every forest is a management plan keeping that forest healthy and beautiful? All forests and grasslands managed by the USDA Forest Service are required to have what is called a Land Management Plan. That’s […]

Let’s Talk Turkey!

I have a confession to make: prior to this moment, I had never contemplated the history of the turkey. Shocking, I know! But, oh, have I learned a myriad of fascinating, charming and downright alarming things about Thanksgiving’s signature bird. Wild turkeys are native to North America. Take that, Australia, and your adorable koalas. That’s […]

The Not-So-Arctic Tundra

If I say the words “Arctic tundra,” what comes to mind? Winds whipping across a cold and barren plain? Though tundra is cold, it’s also home to a number of unique species of flora and fauna specially adapted to its harsh conditions. It only appears barren because of its lack of trees — one of […]

A Matter of Management

Forest management in China is very different from the U.S. in many aspects, including forest ownership structure, policies and regulations, and taxes. Personally, I think there are two key differences. One is the managing organization structure. In China, every province has a forest department or bureau, which is responsible for managing the forests in its […]

Fires Beware: The Oceans Have Your Number

Wildfires can be devastating. For people. For businesses. For the environment. And what’s worse is their unpredictable nature, popping up wherever, whenever they please. If only we could figure out a way to anticipate their next move. Well, turns out some scientists from the University of California, Irvine, think they can. Or more specifically, oceans […]

Call of the Wild – Protecting Alaska’s Wilderness

I don’t know much about Alaska other than what I’ve learned in school or seen online. I still have this picture in my mind of a pristine landscape, untouched by humans and preserved in a layer of glistening snow. In reality, there’s a lot more going on in Alaska. The 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge […]

Made In America

Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Gettysburg? How about the Grand Canyon? We know these places so well that we rarely even use their full names. It makes it easy to forget what they all have in common: they are part of the national park system. The National Park Service oversees 84 million acres of […]

Hit the Green Slopes Next Summer

Raise your hand if you love mountain biking, zip lining or basically any form of forest-based recreation. Guess what — for once both sides of Congress agree that they love forest recreation, too, and are using that love to create jobs and stimulate local economies. Last week, President Obama signed the bipartisan Ski Area Recreational […]

The First Cut Is Unexpected

Last week, I mentioned we did four months of classroom work when we arrived in the U.S. We conducted our classroom training in New York, living on Long Island. There are many oak trees in that area, and the house where we were staying had a large backyard, where I witnessed something unexpected. Just two […]

Don’t Take a Deep Breath

I’m going to let you in on a secret: air pollution is bad for you. Okay, so it isn’t much of a secret at all, but it also isn’t something people often think about. Short of Los Angeles-type clouds of smog, it isn’t something that the average person can always see — or even smell. […]