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 Susan Laszewski
The clock is ticking for oaks in northern California. The 2012 U.S. Forest Service aerial survey reveals that cases of sudden oak death (SOD) — caused by the pathogen p. ramorum — have increased tenfold in the last year. The disease is fatal for tanoaks and a number of oak species and also is damaging to other trees, including coastal redwoods.
The first known incidents were in the 1990s in European nurseries, from which the dis... (Read More)
by Alison Share, Environmental Public Policy Associate, Crowell & Moring LLP
Two articles this past week bring some bad news, coupled with what could be considered a silver lining. First, the bad news. A nonprofit research organization, Climate Central, has released a report that discusses the increase in size and number of yearly wildfires, as well as the expected prevalence of these larger, longer and more sizable wildfires. The burn season itself is two and a half months longer than it was 40 years ago, while fi... (Read More)
by Susan Laszewski
Last Wednesday, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) released a new list of the 100 most critically endangered species. Forests are home to 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, so it comes as no surprise that many of these threatened species are forest dwellers.
Let’s take a look at a few species on the list and the ways in which they interact with their ... (Read More)