Restoring Native Forests

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American Forests’ landscape-scale restoration work is driven by one unifying goal: to restore North America’s native forest landscapes to full health and long-term resilience.

Our American ReLeaf program is taking action to heal our forests by replanting forests on damaged lands and leading other forest restoration actions to create resilient, healthy forests for our future.

Across North America millions of acres of native forests have been lost or degraded by disasters like wildfire and pest infestations as well human actions like mining and widespread clearing for unsustainable practices.

Climate change is adding further stress to our forests, ramping up threats like wildfire and weakening forests that simply can’t adapt fast enough. Climate change is the most profound threat our forests have ever faced.

Bringing a forest back to health requires more than just planting trees. Our work includes actions like collecting seeds from the strongest “mother trees” to grow whitebark pine seedlings that are resistant to disease, and ripping up the rocky surface of abandoned minelands in West Virginia to improve soils and allow trees to grow. And in an era of climate change, we are partnering with scientists to plan restoration for the tree species and climate conditions that are expected in the future.

Our American ReLeaf team brings deep expertise in the science and practice of forest restoration to power our unique change model for landscape-scale restoration. Working with the U.S. Forest Service, other government agencies and a variety of on-the-ground partners, we combine skills and resources to accomplish more for our forests than any organization could do alone.

Priority Landscapes

Lower Rio Grande Valley/Texas Thornscrub

Replanting biologically rich Texas thornscrub forests — down to just 10 percent of their original range — to reconnect habitats for the endangered ocelot and hundreds of  species of birds and butterflies.

Northern Rockies and Cascades/High-Elevation White Pines

Cultivating and replanting whitebark pine and other pines that provide essential food and shelter for species like grizzly bear, but being decimated across the mountains of the American and Canadian West by wildfire, disease and climate change.

Ozarks and Appalachians/White Oak and Red Spruce Forests

Restoring two native forest types in the region’s many abandoned minelands and other opportunity areas, with a special emphasis on sustaining the region’s forest-based economy and protecting headwater streams.

Our Experts

Eric Sprague, Director of Forest Conservation

Phone: 202.370.4516
Email Eric

Jad Daley, President & CEO

Phone: 202.370.4517
Email Jad

Rebecca Turner, Senior Director, Programs and Policy

Phone: 202.370.4521
Email Rebecca