(A guest post from the American Forests Nonprofit)
Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement.
In the U.S. and abroad, our forests face many challenges. Forests are vital resources that have already been severely affected by warming surface temperatures, weather pattern changes, pests and diseases, and water shortages. Not only are forests impacted by climate change, but they can also play a major role in mitigating the effects of a warming planet.
Since 1990, the American Forests Global ReLeaf program has completed restoration work in all 50 U.S. states and 44 countries around the world, planting more than 45 million trees in areas of crucial need. In 2014 alone, American Forests will plant 1.6 million trees in 14 states and six countries through the program.
Our urban forests are important too. Trees in cities reduce air pollution, manage stormwater runoff, increase energy savings and improve public health. American Forests is committed to raising awareness about the vital benefits urban forests provide and the science-based tools that exist to best assess those benefits.
For more than 70 years, the National Big Tree program has worked to preserve and promote the iconic stature of the country’s largest tree specimens and educate the public about the role these remarkable trees and forests play in sustaining a healthy environment.
Since 2010, Woodchuck Hard Cider has donated over 42,000 trees through American Forests thanks to their fans. This year, the Woodchuck Earth Week effort will go to help restore the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington state that was damaged by the Byrd-Goat wildfires of September 2012. These fires burned through plantations of trees that were less than 20 years old. American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are working to reforest 750 acres with a variety of tree species that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Forests are some of the most important natural resources on the planet. Together with our partners and supporters, American Forests is working to ensure the protection and conservation of these essential ecosystems.