We lead research and test new strategies to help forests withstand climate change
In our Innovation Lab, we lead scientific research to restore forest health. This research informs new tools and techniques to help forests cope with climate change. These techniques can boost forest growth after wildfires, for example, or trap more carbon in forest soil.
Some of our “climate smart” reforestation methods include:
- Planting genetically diverse collections of native species
- Planting trees that are better able to thrive under future climate conditions
- Screening seedlings for disease resistance
- Spacing seedlings to mimic natural tree regrowth after wildfire. Wider, natural spacing reduces the risk of future fires
- Planting seedlings in plastic shelter tubes that dramatically increase plant survival in drought-prone areas
A new interactive online tool, the Reforestation Hub, simplifies reforestation planning for policymakers, land managers, companies and anyone interested in growing trees to combat climate change. This tool, which draws on the most comprehensive data on reforestation potential in the U.S. ever produced, will help users make their reforestation projects more effective and cost-efficient.
We build movements to restore and conserve America’s forests
American Forests builds movements that empower actions—such as the creation of new reforestation policies—at a large scale. The Forest-Climate Working Group, staffed and led by American Forests, is one of our key partners in doing so. It is the nation’s only forest sector coalition on climate change. We also inspire our members to support key conservation legislation, such as the Reforestation Act of 2019 and the Great American Outdoors Act.
Many of our projects are geared toward bringing to life the two pledges we have made as part of the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org, the trillion trees movement. We have pledged to plant 100 million trees in large forested landscapes and 1.2 million in cities across the U.S by 2030. Members of the chapter already have pledged 855 million trees in cities and large forested landscapes in the U.S. and overseas. They, too, have pledged to take on supporting actions, such as investing in mapping technology and carbon finance, worth billions of dollars. The chapter, created in August 2020, is led by American Forests and World Economic Forum. It is the only means in the U.S. for bringing together people who have made commitments related to forests so they can learn from each other and help each other achieve their goals.
Our place-based partnerships restore forest health in a changing climate
We create place-based partnerships to develop science-based forest restoration plans and projects. Then, we bring these plans to life by advocating for local, state and federal policies and programs, as well as funding to support them. Last, we plant trees and care for forests. Some of our place-based partnerships, such as our reforestation work to bring back the Kirtland’s warbler, have been in continuous operation for three decades.