Advocate for Sound Forest Policy
We fight for forests.
As our planet has become more crowded and natural resources are more aggressively exploited, forests have come under attack. Developers want more land for housing. Farmers want more land for agriculture. Ancient hardwoods are harvested for their lumber, and are often replaced with single-species tree farms. Climate change brings its own set of threats.
Consider the whitebark pine, the alpine tree of the Mountain West. As winters become a bit shorter and less cold, more of the tree’s natural enemy, the mountain pine beetle, are surviving to destroy trees. White pine blister rust, a fungus, is also taking a toll. The combination of these two plagues have put at risk as much as 77 percent of whitebark pines, which produce nuts that sustain wildlife, from a bird called the Clark’s nutcracker to grizzly bears. These trees are keystones for much of the high-altitude vegetation and are crucial to faraway trout streams. Fortunately, some whitebark pines are naturally resistant to blister rust, and American Forests and government foresters are working to identify those trees and propagate their seeds. Thousands of rust-tolerant seedlings have been planted.
On the national level, we work with Congress and the Executive Branch to increase support for research and programs to benefit forests. We support public and private investment in ecosystem restoration, the training of an ecosystem workforce, and the development of monitoring systems. Conflict over forest policy issues has stifled Congressional action in recent years and led to inaction in our federal forests. The forest ecosystems and the communities that rely on those forests have been harmed. We believe that the best answers on policy issues are found through collaborative processes, where individuals and groups agree to sit down together and share expertise and best practices.
American Forests also works to clarify and publicize the value of the environmental and ecological services that forests provide so that you can become informed advocates as well. The more people that understand the ecological ties between urban and rural areas, the more that will be willing to advocate for protection of the ecosystems that provide them. In all programs and activities, we encourage open and inclusive public processes in planning and implementation. This isn’t just a job for American Forests; it’s a job for the American public.