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 Loose Leaf Team
By Michelle Werts Which came first the bird or the tree? Well, I can’t really answer that question exactly without getting into a lot of complicated — and potentially controversial — details, but I can tell you that the two are intimately connected in ecosystems around the world. A study published on Friday in Science reveals that large-billed bird populations, specifically the colorful toucan, have severely declined in Brazil... (Read More)
by Susan Laszewski
It’s been a discouraging few weeks for climate change in the news. First, we learned that atmospheric levels of CO2 have reached 400ppm for the first time in three million years. If that milestone wasn’t enough to put climate on your mind, new research out of the Lawrence Berkley National Lab has called into question a widely held prediction, replacing it with a more pessimistic vision of the future. Current thinking based on climate model... (Read More)
by Susan Laszewski
At American Forests, we spend a lot of time talking about, thinking about and working to protect whitebark pine, a keystone species in the high-elevation West, as it struggles with disease and infestation, compounded by rising average temperatures. Maybe that’s why the story of another species of white pine facing its own set of struggles really jumped out at me when it appeared in The New York Times last week. The Yakushima white pine is... (Read More)