We’ve loved sharing our milestones and our love of forests with our friends in 2012. Before the year ends, let’s take a look back at some of the stories people loved most:

Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park. Credit: RedwoodCoaster/Flickr

People like what we do here at American Forests because they love the forests we protect. It’s no surprise that a photo paying tribute to one of America’s most iconic forests — the coastal redwood forest of Redwood National Park — attracted so much attention. Colossal beauties like these are a BIG part of why we do what we do.

9. Partnering With Fike

Coming in at number nine is a story of environmental responsibility from the corporate world. The announcement that industrial manufacturer Fike would be partnering with American Forests to plant trees to offset carbon emissions from discharges of their clean agent fire suppression system — and then some — was welcome news to many.

8. Winter Wonderland

We can’t resist sharing some of the many beautiful photographs we stumble upon. This shot of an urban forest in Szczecin, Poland, reminded some of a forest near their own neighborhood, and many took a moment to visit our donations page and support our work for forests like these.

7. Subaru Share the Love

In August, we asked friends and fans to vote for us to be part of the Subaru “Share the Love” event. In the end, we didn’t win, but we sure did feel the love. Thanks for all your support!

6. Urban Forests Video

We could go on and on about the benefits of urban forests, but much like science class back in middle school, sometimes a video is more fun.

Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo: Jeffrey Pott/Flickr

5. Blue Ridge Mountains

Our 2012 Global ReLeaf projects ranged far and wide, but Facebook friends were especially taken by Jeffrey Pott’s gorgeous shot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the story of the longleaf pine we’re working with the National Wild Turkey Federation to restore there.

4. Olympic National Park’s Anniversary

As one reader put it, “Olympic National Park is beautiful and for anyone who wants to feel as though they are the only person on Earth, a sojourn in the rainforest will give you that rare, precious feeling.”

3. Smokey Bear’s Birthday

You joined us in wishing Smokey Bear a very happy birthday as he turned 68 on August 9. Smokey — and the U.S. Forest Service — have certainly learned a lot about how to best protect our forests since the character made his first appearance back in 1944. But one thing that’s remained the same is the lovable bear’s commitment to teaching us all how to responsibly enjoy our time in the forest.

At American Forests, we feel a special affinity for dear Smokey as we’ve been fighting similar battles against intense forest fire ourselves. We think the bear would approve of our appeal to Secretary Vilsack to use the FLAME Act to fight wildfires as intended, for example.

People love big trees! You proved it again in September as you joined us in our countdown to the release of the fall National Register of Big Trees. We speculated whether the Patrick Henry osage-orange would keep its crown (it did) and marveled at the Cincinnati shingle oak, but the tree that really captured peoples’ hearts this year was the Seven Sisters champion live oak in Louisiana.

Seven Sisters Oak
The champion live oak in Louisiana known as the Seven Sisters.

And, finally: our most popular Facebook post of 2012:

The list ends as it began — as a testament to everyone’s love for our nation’s forests. We wished the National Park Service a happy birthday with some photo albums of some of the many amazing parks, including the most visited national park — Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

What stories from the forest await us in 2013?