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 Scott Steen, President & CEO
Last week, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Dr. Nadine Unger. Provocatively titled “To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees,” the column draws on one area of preliminary research from the vast realm of climate change research and asserts broad conclusions about the contributions of forests to climate change, which are likely to confuse more than help. Clearly forests alone cannot solve the climate change issue. However, Dr. Unger labels ... (Read More)
by Loose Leaf Contributor
By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert Several of the most damaging tree-killing insects came to America as larvae riding in crates, pallets, or other forms of wood packaging material (WPM). These include the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), emerald ash borer, and redbay ambrosia beetle. All entered the country since trade opened with China in the late 1980s. The ALB and EAB entered before our government h... (Read More)
by Loose Leaf Contributor
By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert Nearly 500 non-native insects and disease-causing pathogens have been introduced to the United States in the 400 years since European settlement began. Here are some examples: Chestnut blight has virtually eliminated mature American chestnuts across the species' range, which is most of the eastern deciduous forest. European gypsy moth periodically causes severe d... (Read More)