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
Last week, NASA Earth Observatory released as series of maps showing the world’s forests, as mapped from three dimensions: area, density and height. Through the work of researchers, we have one of the largest, highest-resolution forest biomass maps ever. Pretty nifty, huh? It is, in terms of the research and technology that went into creating the map. Not so nifty are the stories underlying the pretty green patches. On first glance, y... (Read More)
by Katrina Marland
Gold, frankincense and myrrh. I’ve heard the story since I was a child, and frankly, other than gold, I never had any idea what those three wise men were carrying as they trekked across the desert. Recently, I’ve learned a bit more: apparently myrrh and frankincense are oil and perfume, respectively; each are made from tree resin; and both are still in use today. Yet, in a modern retelling of the tale, one of the wise men could be arrivin... (Read More)
by Michelle Werts
Apparently, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that you “Don’t mess with Texas.” First, there were the fires: 27,411 of them in 2011 through November 21 that destroyed almost four million acres. That’s 47 percent of the acreage burned by fire in the entire country for 2011. Almost 3,000 homes were ravaged along with nearly 3,000 other structures, and the damage from the Bastrop Fire alone equals $750 million, which made fire one of ... (Read More)