American Forests

The objectives of American Forests, publisher of American Forests magazine, are to help people plant and care for trees for ecosystem restoration and healthier communities.

Articles from Vol. 99, No. 5-6, May-June

Five Hot Tips for Homeowners on the Edge
If you live in the "wildfire interface," you have to protect your investment. Here's how. Near Rogue River, Oregon, Guy Ramsey vividly remembers last summer's $8 million East Evans Creek fire. "A fireball exploded ... from tree to tree. The last thing...
Kids for a Greener World
Feeling hopeless about the state of the environment? Check out the energy of the 1,000 young people who will gather in July in Cincinnati. No doubt you've heard it said that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors but rather borrow it from our...
Lansing Bennett, C.I.A
On January 25, a man carrying a semi-automatic rifle got out of a car and began shooting into vehicles making the turn into Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Two people died there. Authorities have issued an arrest warrant...
New Ecology, Global Change, and Forest Politics
There's a lot of new information bouncing around in scientific and forestry circles these days, and not all of it fits together in ways that are reassuring. The following thoughts are stated in the most direct terms possible. That doesn't make these...
Restoring a "Grass-Roots" Forest
An innovative project to reinvigorate the disappearing longleaf/wiregrass piney woods has the potential to do much more. My Yankee husband was horrified. I wanted to burn our newly purchased north-Florida piney woods to encourage the longleaf pine to...
Romancing the Clone
Even the "humongous fungus" pales in comparison to this hillsides of incestuous aspens. Utah's Fishlake National Forest, remotely situated and sparsely known, has not exactly glowed in the national limelight. Despite its claims of "unique" geology,...
Serious DBH
Ancient forests may be closer than you think. Here's a guide to camping and backpacking in trees so tall they'll give you a neckache. Foresters have a term for it: dbh, or "diameter at breast height," a numerical figure that correlates to the size of...
Smokey's Revenge
This amiable symbol of fire-as-evil-force has turned on his masters and helped to create today's "forests of torches." It is impossible for environmentalists of a certain age, especially if they grew up in the West (such as I), to be anything but ambivalent...
The Biggest Joshua Tree
You don't want to shake hands with him, but his ties with us humans are the stuff of legends. In the first written account of the Joshua Tree, Captain John C. Fremont proclaimed it "... the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom." True, given...
The Future of Forestry: Two Views from the Top
As this special issue of American Forests reflects on almost every page, many of the bedrock beliefs that have long governed the management of this nation's forests are under siege. As one result, the profession of forestry is at a critical crossroads....
The Great Anti-Fire Campaign
In the East, fire control was at least partly a social concern, but its results have changed these forests too. The advent of Forest Service fire control marked a distinctly new era in environmental impact. Long before there was human activity in North...
The National Children's Forest
Risen from the ashes of a fast-burning wildfire, this little enclave near L.A. is a monument to idealism young and old. In the San Bernardino National Forest 85 miles east of Los Angeles is a patch of forest that died in flames 23 years ago, was replanted...
The Wildfire Fiasco
In our zeal to control nature, we may have pushed her out of control. And now we're taking the heat. Where to from here? As I raked pine needles at our family cabin on California's Stanislaus National Forest last Labor Day, somebody sponged the blue...
The Year They Firebombed the West
Poor timing is all that prevented Project FUGO's "alien mechanisms" from igniting massive fires and blunting our effort in World War II. The alien mechanisms swept out of the western skies by the thousands. Riding the jet-stream, they moved across the...
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