National forests are one of the wonders of life in America – from forests housing giant Sequoias to pine forests, they are all beautiful. Thinking about them brings back memories of backpacking and camping as a child. It was a treat to discover all the nursing logs, lichen, bugs and streams along the way. Something about getting out into nature allows your mind to slow down, and you can just breathe the fresh air.
However, our forests are under threat from human destruction of habitat as well as natural disasters such as forest fires. Logging remains a giant threat. American Forests is an organization devoted to saving forests and restoring damaged habitat.
American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country. They work tirelessly to help protect federal, state and urban forests. They have planted over 40 million trees since 1990, restored watersheds to their original condition and worked to expand existing forests. When disasters occurred, American Forests replanted to ensure the land did not further degrade.
American Forests lets science be its guide. They look for the right areas to plant, best trees to act as windbreakers, the proper trees to create habitat for animals, or trees that could be sustainable in a city – in a park, for instance.
Yet, American Forests doesn’t just dig in the dirt. They bring their ideas and hopes to Washington. They work with lawmakers and policy leaders to ask for what they want. They arm themselves with information. They feel it is their duty to let everyone know how “trees interact with climate, sequester carbon, manage water and benefit cities.”
They realize that the benefit of having trees is multifaceted. Trees and forests actually create jobs. They also keep the air fresh by recycling oxygen back into the environment. They are important for the future of the planet.
American Forests has completed many important jobs to protect forests. Just two of the many include planting native trees in Michoacán, Mexico to provide winter habitat for migrating monarch butterflies and planting jack pine trees in Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forest to restore summer habitat for the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. However, the list is endless.
Next time you’re out on a nature walk in the woods, think of American Forests.