Air Quality

Chicago’s trees estimated compensatory value at $51.2 billion

Chicago is estimated to have about 157,142,000 trees, with a tree and shrub canopy that covers 2% of the region.  These trees remove about 677,000 tons of carbon per year and 18,080 tons of air pollution per year.  Including reduced costs in residential energy and a few other factors, these trees are estimated to have a compensatory value of $51.2 billion.

State foresters to receive grants to restore forests on degraded mined land areas

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the USDA Forest Service – State and Private Forestry (USFS) partnered to create the Appalachian Forest Renewal Initiative, which will allocate $678,000 to State Foresters or their designated partners to restore forests on degraded mined land areas.  Sites will span Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  These six grants will provide a 1:1 match in additional funds and in

Woodland salamanders as quiet heroes of the forest

A new study suggests that woodland salamanders play a significant role in the global carbon cycle.  Tiny but abundant, on an average day, a salamander eats 20 ants of all sizes, two fly or beetle larvae, one adult beetle and half of an insect called the springtail. Their prey consists almost entirely of shredding invertebrate, bugs that spend their lives ripping leaves to little bits to eat them. 

Community tree mortality linked to life-threatening illnesses

The emerald ash borer is a forester’s nightmare: the much detested insect was first detected in 2002 and has since felled over 100 million ash trees.  Aside from the obvious damage and injuries caused by falling trees, the barren streets and parks have been linked to a more long-term problem: higher rates of death from cardiovascular and respiratory tract illnesses. 

Maine groups being paid to manage forests for carbon offsets

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust and the Appalachian Mountain Club are two conservation organizations that are about to be paid to do what they do best: sustainably manage their forests.  The money that they earn will be spent on further forest management and on buying additional forestland.  While some trees will still be harvested for forest products such as pulp, paper and timber, the majority will be left standing to offset the carbon emissions of industries that need h

The Amazon releasing carbon into the atmosphere?

Recent studies show that drought in the Amazon increases the release of carbon into the atmosphere.  The Amazon’s role as a major carbon sink (representing half of the entire planet’s tropical rainforests) is well-known, but climate-induced conditions are changing these perceptions.  Drought plays a significant role in carbon release/retention: during a 2010 drought, the rainfo

EPA proposes restrictions for new wood stoves

These restrictions would reduce fine particle emissions by one third in 2015 and by 80 percent in 2019.  Stoves are currently certified if they produce less than 7.5 grams of particulate an hour: the new proposal would reduce this to 4.5 grams per hour and eventually just 1.3 grams.  Fine particulate has been linked to both short and long term health impacts, including heart and lung disease.  Subsequently, the EPA e