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

Finnish study finds cost-effective methods to biodiversity in production forests

Can a production forest provide important species habitat while still maintaining maximum profit?  A research group led by Professor Mikko Mönkkönen at the University Jyväskylä studied a production forest landscape encompassing 68 square kilometers of land in Central Finland to find ways to increase biodiversity – and their short answer is “yes.”  The team projected forest growth 50 years into the future with alternative management regimes, wh

Free conversion of open space to forest land for Marylanders

Governor Martin O’Malley announced the Lawn to Woodland stewardship program that aims to increase forested land in the state of Maryland by offering to provide landowners in Maryland with trees, tools, and the technical assistance to plant and maintain trees on unused lawn.  Co-Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Maryland Department of Natural Resou

Volunteers crucial to maintaining urban forests

An article by Philp Silva in The Nature of Cities reminds us that the cost of planting thousands of trees in our cities is nothing – compared to the price of maintaining them.  Urban trees, once planted, yield no tangible monetary benefit (they can never be sold for timber) and rarely come with a plan for maintenance, despite the fact that young trees require much attention and care.  This means that the sustainability of our urban fo

New studies show that trees actually grow faster with age

"It's as if, on your favorite sports team, you find out the star players are a bunch of 90-year-olds," says Nate Stephenson, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.  While studies found that trees do indeed slow their rate of vertical growth, their mass actually increases at a continuous rate as they grow older and older.