Forests are under attack from invasive species, diseases and unprecedented outbreak of pests, while trying to withstand stress caused by climate change and drought. The Midwest is fighting is the invasive species emerald ash borer, which is killing tens of millions of ash trees. New England has seen tens of thousands of trees succumb to the Asian longhorned beetle, which, if it spreads, is estimated to be able to destroy 30 percent of the country’s hardwoods. In the West, millions of trees are being lost to the combined threat of mountain pine beetles and white pine blister rust. Cities across the country have lost tens of thousands of elm trees to Dutch elm disease over the last 60 years. Developing strong management and restoration plans is essential to protecting our forests from invasives, disease and pests.
Each threat to forests requires us to take a unique approach to solving it.
Through American Forests Global ReLeaf, we work to replant trees, including disease-resistant trees, in areas harmed by disease, insects and more.
Meanwhile, our Endangered Western Forests initiative is helping fight myriad threats to our western forests by planting disease-resistant trees, applying insect-repelling pheromone patches to trees, developing new management plans and more.
Other issues can be addressed more efficiently through policy than field work by trying to prevent future problems, as well as fixing current ones. This approach has led to our efforts in advocating for sustainable forest management, economic incentives for landowners to keep their property forested, and recognition of forests as water resources.
Visit American Forests’ Action Center to send pre-written letters to Congress and other representatives to support sound wildfire policy. Letters available now include:
Forest Threats News from our Loose Leaf blog
by Michelle Werts
Every day, our forests and trees are under assault: from droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes to fires and climate change. One particular brand of threat, though, is often sneaky, small and numbers in the thousands: insects. Trees and insects can often have a symbiotic relationship, with the insect providing pollination and other services to the trees, while the trees provide the insects with food and protection. Sometimes, though, those ins... (Read More)
by Katrina Marland
Mankind is a noisy animal. Far beyond the sounds we can physically make ourselves, if you consider the noise produced by all the machinery and industry around the world, humans are by far the loudest creatures on Earth. And like that obnoxious college roommate that always played their music too loud, we are driving our quieter natural neighbors a bit crazy. It makes sense that industrial noise could have a negative effect on local wildlife... (Read More)
by Michelle Werts
You know when you have an itch, but scratching it only seems to make it worse, and you’re stuck in a perpetual cycle of misery? Well, nature experiences similar phenomena: feedback loops. In technical terms, a feedback loop is when an output from a past event influences the same event, creating a cyclical pattern that’s difficult to break. And in a new book, a biologist claims that one of these vicious cycles is currently at play in our w... (Read More)