The American Southwest faces a dry and dusty forecast, with a 90 percent chance of a decade-long drought searing southern regions of Arizona and New Mexico this century, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.
The drought risk for southern portions of California and Nevada is nearly as great, with an 80 percent chance of a decade-long drought by 2100. California is already in the midst of an extreme drought. In 2014, the water shortage is expected to cost the state a total of $2.2 billion, including agricultural losses.
Longleaf pine forests now cover 3.3 million acres in the United States, up from a low of 2.8 million acres. Similarly, the acreage of longleaf- dominated forestland has increased to 4.2 million acres, up from 3.9 million acres.
While these gains may seem small, this upward trend illustrates the importance of strong science, and smart, collaborative conservation.
Restoring the health of longleaf pine forests is critically important in a state like Texas.
California's record drought, now in its third year, is reducing supplies of California honey.
The lack of rain has ravaged native plants and forced farmers to scale back crop production, leaving fewer places for honeybees to forage. California is traditionally one of the largest honey producers in the United States.
"Our honey crop is severely impacted by the drought, and it does impact our bottom line as a business," said Gene Brandi, a beekeeper in California's Central Valley.
Scientists and biologists across Idaho and other Western states fear the aspen tree may someday vanish.
Over the past 100 years, the number of aspen trees across Eastern Idaho has declined by an estimated 60 percent, according to the Eastern Idaho Aspen Working Group (EIAWG).
Similarly, Arizona has lost 90 percent of its aspen population over the past century. Since 2007, Colorado lost about 13 percent of its aspens, which the U.S. Forest Service says was due to excessive drought.
The coconut rhinoceros beetle, first discovered in December at Hawaii's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is destroying coconut trees and the associated economy.
The insect bores holes in the leaves, damaging and killing the trees, and work crews have removed 150 sick trees to prevent the spread.
“(This will have) large-scale landscape-changing effects on the state...It affects palm trees. Picture Waikiki with half the trees that are there now," said Rob Curtiss with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
The Nature Conservancy, along with PNM, Avalon Trust, Wells Fargo and Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, is launching a new fundraising effort to help thin the Cibola National Forest in an effort to prevent damage to the area’s water supply.The thinning project will take place in a section of the forest near Sandia Park.
State forestry officials have been receiving numerous calls about a disease affecting white pine trees, but they say there should be no rush to cut them down because the trees may yet survive.
Needles on infected trees have been changing color and falling off in recent weeks, prompting calls to the Maine Forest Service. Heavy rains have aggravated the problem, leaving the crowns of trees appearing thin. A survey of damaged trees in Maine is underway.
A Purdue University research team led by Michael Jenkins, associate professor of forest ecology, found that a 17-year-long Indiana Department of Natural Resources policy of organizing hunts in state parks has successfully spurred the regrowth of native tree seedlings, herbs and wildflowers rendered scarce by browsing deer.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock this week unveiled his “Forests in Focus” Initiative, a strategy to accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration, watershed protection and wildlife habitat improvement work on private and federal forests across the state.
It comes with a three million dollar investment that will fund cost-share projects as well as other activities.
Susan Stein has been selected as director of the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) in Washington, D.C.
Stein brings extensive experience in technology transfer, working with researchers to communicate research results to managers, land owners, and policy-makers. Much of this work has been accomplished through forming and leading multidisciplinary teams from across the Federal government, as well as from universities, non-governmental organizations, and State governments.
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