Category Archive: Global ReLeaf

After Katrina: Eight Years Later

By Michelle Werts Eight years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The level three category hurricane unleashed upward of 10 inches of rain on the Gulf Coast with winds at speeds greater than 140 mph. By the time the storm dissipated a day later, more than 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded, […]

Visiting the Monarchs’ Home

This summer, I visited the central mountain region of Mexico, where millions of monarch butterfly migrate to each winter. American Forests and La Cruz Habitat Protection Project have partnered to reforest this area for almost a decade, and in that period of time, together, we have planted more than 850,000 trees to help preserve the […]

The Politics of Fighting Fire

Last Wednesday, I traveled to San Francisco to attend a conference for work. My colleague, who traveled separately, showed me photos he had taken on his flight. The photos were of the fire currently burning in Yosemite National Park, bright and jagged slashes of orange and red against the night backdrop. All from 35,000 feet. […]

In the Nick of Time

Two very special anniversaries were celebrated over the weekend, and, as fate would have it, they are tied together in a providential way. It’s been seven years since the discovery of Hyperion, the coast redwood that knocked the Stratosphere Giant from its place as record holder for world’s tallest tree. But its 379.65-foot height is […]

Endangered in Minnesota

By Michelle Werts Most are familiar with the story of the bald eagle: how the iconic American bird was almost extinct in the United States in the mid-1900s, but through habitat protection, the banning of DDT and other management activities, the species recovered and was removed from the Endangered Species Act list in 2007. Unfortunately, […]

Big Trees for Big Owls

Last week, we posted an interview with American Forests Science Advisory Board member Dr. Jerry Franklin about the importance of big, old trees. He told us how old trees fill an ecological niche that young trees just can’t provide: “Big, old trees have suffered the slings and arrows of climate, insects and diseases, and so […]

A Lifetime of Conservation, A Lasting Legacy

By Michelle Werts In 1924, right after becoming the first female graduate of the University of Alaska, an intrepid young woman and her new husband embarked on an unusual honeymoon: a 500-mile caribou research trip — by dogsled — through the Alaskan wilderness. This was only one of many nature adventures that Margret “Mardy” Murie […]

Showing Support for Clean Water

From basement backups to beach closures, polluted runoff can have big costs for communities. In 2011, polluted runoff caused 47 percent of beach closing and advisory days. A study of 28 popular, yet polluted, beaches in Southern California calculated that swimmers suffered an estimated 1.5 million gastrointestinal illnesses, resulting in an economic loss of between […]

From Fire to Flooding

By Michelle Werts Sometimes, certain regions of the country just can’t catch a break. Last year, the Colorado Springs area was devastated by the Waldo Canyon Fire, which was the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history until this year’s Black Forest Fire. The Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed more than 300 homes; a year later, approximately […]

Giant Growth Spurt

This week, there’s new insight into some of America’s favorite trees. On Wednesday, a group of researchers from the University of California-Berkeley, Humboldt State University and the Marine Conservation Institute presented findings from a four-year study of coast redwoods at a symposium at Berkeley. By taking core samples from redwoods on 16 test plots, they […]