In the wake of the devastating tornadoes that battered Tuscaloosa and communities throughout north Alabama, the Arbor Day Foundation, in collaboration with the Alabama Forestry Commission, launched a new campaign to bring trees to families throughout the area. Through the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation will deliver native trees selected to thrive in the area at the best time for planting.
New Jersey Lawmakers are considering a controversial plan to allow commercial logging on state-owned forests. Supporters of the estimated $2.7 million program say it would help the state nurse its 800,000 acres of land back to health by removing trees and allowing sunlight to feed new growth, creating new habitats and reducing the risk of fires. But critics say the forests’ biggest threat are thousands of deer that eat most new plants.
The Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) has released a new report about forest certification in the South. Forest Certification Programs: Status and Recommendations in the South provides detailed information regarding forest certification, a comparison of the major certification systems and recommended strategies for southern state forestry agencies to consider as the issue develops.
Swapping cement and steel for timber is the vision of a number of environmentally-minded architects who are planning high-rise buildings across the world. "Cutting down trees to make buildings doesn't immediately sound eco-friendly either, but if sourced from sustainably managed forests (like those in Europe and North America), it can be more environmentally sensitive."
The Heinz Center held a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the 2008 State of the Nation's Ecosystems, a report that presents 108 indicators describing the condition and use of ecosystems in the U.S. The findings -- updated since the 2002 report -- show that the acreage burned every year by wildfires is increasing, non-native fish have invaded nearly every watershed in the lower 48 states, and chemical contaminants are found in virtually all streams and most groundwater wells, often at levels above those set to protect human health or wildlife.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities has released a report entitled, Considerations for Creating a National Conservation Easement Database. The report is a follow-up to a meeting the Endowment hosted in early 2008 and the report, "Forest Conservation Easements: Who's Keeping Track?" that served to scope interest and the potential for a national database of conservation easements to enhance conservation and economic planning and investment.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has launched a new citizen component of "Marylanders Plant Trees," a program designed to greatly increase tree cover across the state through partnerships with businesses, communities and citizens to help fund and plant new tree cover. State agencies have a goal of planting 1 million new trees by 2011, and private citizens are being asked to plant 50,000 trees by 2010.
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