Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

Forest action plans provide an analysis of forest conditions and trends in your area.

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Sustainability

Speedier forest production may be the next big thing

Shubhendu Sharma, a young industrial engineer who formerly worked for Toyota, was inspired by the production-line efficiency.  Inspired by the staggering statistic that we lose about 36 football-field’s worth of forest in any minute, he founded Afforestt with the idea that forests can be produced just as efficiently.

Could the benefits of urban trees extend to lighting up our streets?

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde hypothesizes that we can use the bio-luminescent qualities of jellyfish and mushrooms to create glow-in-the-dark tress to replace street lights. After learning about biomimicry, a method of imitating models and systems found in nature to solve complex design issues, he began working with the State University of New York and Alexander Krichevsky who had unveiled genetically modified glow-in-the-dark plants earlier this year.

98.8% of studied North American trees to lose suitable habitat by 2050

Higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and longer growing seasons predicted for the future may require that some tree species move into new areas to adapt to these new conditions.  Those unable to adapt or move quickly enough may succumb to climate change:  researchers with the U.S.

Can “fingerprinting” trees stop illegal logging?

“Fingerprinting trees” may seem time-intensive and futuristic, but in an attempt to promote sustainable forestry in Indonesia, the largest producer of tropical timber, a project led by the University of Adelaide plans to do just that. By developing DNA markers for important timber species, certain trees will be able to be tracked from forest to final product.

Forest industry contributes $33 billion to economy and 178,000 jobs in four-state region

New research by the North East State Foresters Association and the Northern Forest center shows the importance of a forest-based economy: in the four-state region of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, forest-based economic activity accounts for over $33 billion annually as well as 178,000 jobs.

Invasive beetles are the “designers” of hip new wood products

Mountain pine beetles have destroyed millions of acres of forest in the Rocky Mountain West.  The marred wood left behind is difficult to clear, creating safety risks such as fire hazards.  However, designers in Colorado and Montana are finding new ways to use this excess pine.

Wood-based “smart sponge” to be used in oil-spill cleanups

Researchers in Madison have created a spongelike aerogel that has the potential to quickly and efficiently absorb oil.  “The idea is that you could throw this aerogel sheet in the water and it would start to absorb the oil” said Shaoqin Gong, who runs a bio-technology-nanotechnology lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Over 600 trees flown in to restore the Twelvemile Creek watershed

Major watershed restoration efforts for the Tongrass National Forest/ Twelvemile Creek watershed on the Prince of Wales Island were begun in 2009, including wildlife habitat and streamside vegetation improvements, fish crossing and road condition improvements, and major in-stream channel work.  This work, which was concluded in 2013, improved the habitat of a large variety of species, ranging from steelhead trout to wolves and black bears, and repair damage from long-ago, under-regulated log

Traveling trees follow shifts in temperature

“You are a snail. You are a plant. You like where you are. The temperature's right. It suits you. But…as a global average….temperatures are changing at a rate of 0.42 kilometers – or roughly, a quarter mile a year, which means that if you standing on a patch of earth, climate zones are moving at a rate (on average) of about 3.8 feet every day.”

1.38 million acres of longleaf pine restoration work in 2013

“The dedicated work of public and private partners that began in earnest in the 1980s and that continues today has for the first time resulted in halting the century’s long decline in longleaf pine” says Vernon Compton, Longleaf Alliance and 2013 Chair of the Longleaf Partnership Council.  Banded under America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI), Compton’s organization was among numerous others that managed to restore 1.38 million acres of longleaf restoration work

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