Category Archive: Global ReLeaf

Fire in the Rockies

By Michelle Werts “Euro-American settlement and the 20th-century fire suppression practices drastically altered historic fire regimes, leading to excessive fuel accumulation and uncharacteristically severe wildfires in some areas and diminished flammability resulting from shifts to more fire-sensitive forest species in others,” writes retired forester Kevin C. Ryan, et al, in the August online edition of […]

A Fund Worth Fighting For

The next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors, take a moment to thank the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Given that this fund has protected land in every U.S. state — including such iconic recreation areas as Grand Canyon National Park — and supports more than 41,000 state and local park projects, chances are […]

More Than a Forest

By Michelle Werts It’s a land of Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock, western redcedar, black cottonwood, quaking aspen and more. It’s 2.2 million acres of mountains, river valleys, hills, lakes and forest. Today, Kootenai National Forest celebrates its 107th anniversary of being part of the National Forest System — and we celebrate years of partnership […]

The Importance of Big, Old Trees

In the December 2012 issue of Science, American Forests Science Advisory Board member Dr. Jerry F. Franklin published an ecological study, “Global Decline in Large Old Trees,” with his colleagues Dr. David Lindenmayer and Dr. William Laurance. Dr. Franklin kindly sat down with American Forests staff members to discuss the study and the importance of […]

Birthday Bear Hugs

Smokey Bear is turning 69 today, and I have reason to believe it may his best birthday party yet. Why? Because there will be a lot more hugs to go around! Smokey is taking a less authoritarian approach toward educating people about wildfire prevention these days. Rather than disapproving looks and stern warnings, he’s opting […]

A Tree Like Any Other Tree

With roughly 30 percent of Earth’s land surface categorized as forestland, it can be quite the project to estimate how these trees are interacting with the planet. How much carbon are they taking in? How much water are they using and releasing into the air? How much oxygen are the trees producing? These questions are […]

From Tragedy to Beauty

By Michelle Werts Trees don’t live forever. It’s a shocking statement, I know, but beyond old age, trees combat destructive forces on a daily basis: insect, disease, development and weather. All of these things can create devastating losses or damage to trees, but some people are turning these negatives into positives — artistic positives. As […]

Beetles Cultivating Disaster

Avocado lovers, beware. A study recently published in Fungal Genetics and Biology suggests a threat facing avocado crops in California and Florida could take a new turn. Ambrosia beetles of the Euwallacea genus bore into avocado trees to farm Fusarium fungi, which they use to feed their young. It’s well-known that these fungi can damage […]

The Cannabis Conundrum Continues

By Michelle Werts If you had told me two years ago when I started at American Forests that I would have a series on our soon-to-launch blog about marijuana, I definitely would have had a big laugh, but as it turns out, pot is no laughing matter when it comes to the health of forest […]

Community ReLeaf in Detroit

Last week, Melinda Housholder and I, aka American Forests’ urban forest team, traveled to Detroit, Mich., the site of one of the Community ReLeaf 2013 projects. We had the opportunity to meet a lot of folks working on greening initiatives in Detroit and saw a lot of the city. It was a very interesting time […]