American Forests Responds: Fire Suppression Funding Fix in the 2018 Omnibus

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: |0 Comments

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The inclusion of a legislative fix to the fire suppression funding process in the FY 2018 Omnibus appropriations bill is a major step forward for the health and resiliency of America’s forests.

As a leader in the Fire Funding Fix Coalition, American Forests has been working on this issue for many years with conservation and sporting organizations, the forest products industry, local and county officials and other diverse interests.

“We sincerely thank the Congressional members and staff from both sides of the aisle who worked tirelessly to come to an agreement on such an important issue,” said Scott Steen, president and CEO of American Forests. “This effort shows that when diverse groups can work together to present elected officials with something that benefits everyone, we really can get things done. America’s forests have always been common ground, and this strong bi-partisan agreement demonstrates that again.”

The fire funding fix negotiated in the Omnibus appropriations package secures stable funding for fighting wildfires, without harming other federal programs that benefit forests. The package also includes some reasonable provisions to expedite important forest management on the National Forest System that will make forests more resilient to fire and other threats. This is especially important given the mounting impacts of climate change, which are escalating the frequency and intensity of fires and many other stresses on forest health.

Specifically, the Omnibus includes the following key provisions to fix the funding model for fire suppression: (1) it freezes the 10-year average for fire costs at the fiscal year 2015 level, halting the increasing percentage of the U.S. Forest Service’s budget that has been going to fighting fires; (2) it establishes a contingency account for use in bad fire years when appropriated levels are not enough and funds it with more than $2 billion a year through 2027; (3) it reduces the need to transfer funds from non-fire related programs, allowing the U.S. Forest Service to implement all other aspects of its work, including investment in forest thinning and other actions that reduce the risk of extreme wildfires.

“This comprehensive funding solution addresses our biggest concerns,” said Jad Daley, vice president of conservation programs at American Forests. “The U.S. Forest Service has multiple mandates that can now be fully implemented. Fire funding will no longer shortchange the Forest Service’s ability to do other important work, like restoring our forests for health and resilience in a changing climate, supporting urban forestry, and using forests to clean our air and water.”

American Forests would also like to thank our members and supporters who sent thousands of letters to their elected officials urging them to support such a fix.

“Elected officials need to hear from their constituents that they care about these issues,” said Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy at American Forests. “When Congress hears not just from the policy professionals in D.C., but from the folks in their districts, it helps to elevate the need for finding a solution.”

The FY 2018 Omnibus is expected to pass by Congress later this week.

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5 of the Best Things About Spring

March 20th, 2018|0 Comments

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By Devon Kellums, American Forests

At American Forests, we love every season, but the fresh scents, beautiful colors and new life make us excited for the first day of spring each year!

Read on to find out some of our favorite spring things and help us celebrate the start of a new season.

1. Fresh Blooms

Whether it’s flowers or trees, everything is in bloom during the spring. The sweet scent of pollen swirls through the air. It’s incredible to see nature sprout and grow right before your eyes.

2. Vibrant Colors

Going from leafless trees and the snow-covered ground to being surrounded by vibrant and luscious landscapes is one of the most refreshing feelings. The world comes to life after surviving the cold winter and it’s apparent in the blue skies and bright green grass.

3. Baby Animals

New life is everywhere during springtime. Animals come out of hibernation and babies are born. From lambs and ducklings to fox pups and bear cubs, you’ll be sure to get your fill of cute baby animals.

4. Cherry Blossoms

Sweet smells and delicate flowers make cherry blossoms one of the many great gifts that comes with spring. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with cherry trees, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the beauty they bring to the surrounding landscape.

5. A New Soundtrack

The sounds of the season tie everything together. Branches and leaves rustling, birds singing and creeks trickling are music to the ears. Waking up in the morning is a bit easier when you’re greeted by spring’s song.

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Forest Digest: March 18, 2018

March 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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Check out what’s happened this week in forestry news!

The National Forests Of The Future Need To Be In

According to a new study from the U.S. Forest Service, the country’s urban footprints are going to almost double over the next 40 years, meaning we need to incorporate urban forests into infrastructure to maintain the benefits of a well-forested environment.

USFS reminds public to be careful with fire when visiting forests amid dry conditionsFOX21 News

Officials say it is more important now than ever to be cautious when using any kind of fire during visits to state forests to avoid human-induced wildfires.

5 innovations that could end plastic waste – GreenBiz

Plastic waste is rapidly accumulating in our rivers, oceans, forests and beyond, and the negative impacts are impossible to ignore. These innovative materials may offer a solution to one of our biggest environmental challenges.

FEMA Drops ‘Climate Change’ From Its Strategic PlanNPR

A new strategic planning document released Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency eliminated any references to global warming, rising sea levels, extreme weather and other climate-related threats.

Hard work required for goal of old growth forests in Central OhioOhio’s Country Journal

One man in central Ohio hopes to restore hundreds of acres of what was once old-growth forest back to its original state.

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Helping Wildlife Move Back In

March 15th, 2018|Tags: |0 Comments

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By Leah Rambadt, American Forests

Interested in helping local wildlife reclaim habitat space? Then create your own wildlife habitat garden!

Wildlife habitat gardens are accessible to wildlife all year round. Here are some considerations and preparations you should go through when planning and maintaining your garden.

A backyard converted into a National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat garden. Credit: Marie T. Reamer

Consider the Basics

A wildlife garden begins with your plants, since you’re trying to replicate pre-development land conditions. When you plant native plant species wildlife depend on, you create a habitat that starts restoring your local environment.


While this may seem obvious, it’s important to be aware of your location and the amount of space available in your yard. Design your wildlife garden to target specific wildlife based on the space available. For example, if you live in the city, you can target invertebrates, small animals and birds.

Create wildlife corridors by planting in open areas of your lawn. This will encourage invertebrates and other small animals to move around more. Instead of fences, you can also plant hedges as borders to act as corridors and cover for various wildlife. Flowering hedges, which grow berries in the fall and winter, can act as a food source for birds.

Be aware that overcrowding your garden can be just as harmful for wildlife movement as providing minimal plant-life for coverage.


Native plants provide nectar, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, foliage, pollen and insects for wildlife.

A bee pollinates a hawthorn blossom. Credit: Crataegus Monogyna

When you decide to plant native plants, it may seem harmless to grow plant species not native to your local area. However, doing so can negatively affect the local wildlife. You should only plant local, native species in your garden, since they are the ones local pollinators have evolved to rely on.

To find out the types of plant-life native to your area, search the National Wildlife Federation‘s (NWF) plant-finder database or search the web.

While choosing what to plant, consider the types of wildlife you want to attract, and learn their habits. This will allow you to accurately select the best plants to include in your garden. You should plant a variety of vegetation for all seasons, so wildlife will have food all year round.

Feeders can supplement natural food sources. By regularly providing a diversity of food, your garden can attract a range of birds. Make sure to provide a cover to keep squirrels from raiding the feeders.


Provide a water source. Birds may also use a water source as a birdbath, while various insects may use it for a breeding ground. The container should have sloped sides to allow easy access.


The trick to providing good cover for wildlife is resisting the urge to completely clean your yard. Some of the “mess” you leave behind makes a good shelter for wildlife.

  • Soil: Unless you’re planting, don’t dig your garden soil, and lay down compost on top to increase the invertebrate (earthworm and beetle larvae) population. This also provides a foraging site for birds like robins.
  • Vertical Space: If you have space, you can encourage winged and crawling wildlife into an urban garden on a wall (i.e.: insect hotel, climbing vines).

Insect hotels hanging on walls saves yard space while still providing a habitat. Credit: RBC Blue Water Roof Garden

  • Garden Glade: Plant woodland flowers in succession under trees to provide shelter for invertebrates and frogs.
  • Piles: Put logs and piles of sticks under bushes and around garden edges to provide shelter for a variety of animals. Grow ivy or place sods of earth on top for humidity. Compost, trimmings, and decomposing and discarded garden off-cut piles work as well.
  • Lawn: Keep the center of your lawn short for foragers, and leave the edges long for the invertebrates.

Places for Wildlife to Raise Their Young

Most of the habitats listed above are good locations for wildlife to raise their young. You can also provide birdhouses or nesting boxes for birds. Keep in mind that some species of wildlife need a completely different habitat during their juvenile phase than they do as adults.

An eastern bluebird uses a nest box to shelter its young. Credit: Hazel Erikson/Audubon Photography Awards

Sustainable Practices – How to Manage Your Garden

  • Native plants should be of genuine native stock, not of continental origin. The wildflowers should also have been cultivated from legally collected seed, not dug up from the wild.
  • Avoid using peat.
  • Find alternative forms of compost.
  • Collect rainwater to refill your water sources.
  • Recycle: Use reclaimed, old materials when building raised borders and other garden structures.
  • Avoid using pesticides and use non-toxic, non-chemical alternatives.


What You Can Do Now – Spring Preparation

Late fall through early spring is the best time to sow seeds of various native wildflowers that support wildlife, such as birds and bees. Planting these seeds increases local genetic diversity, since most garden centers only sell plants selected and cloned for certain characteristics (e.g., color).

You can get seeds from your backyard, native plant societies, garden clubs, nature centers, and NWF community habitat groups. Plant these seeds outside (times vary by species) to let them germinate.

Good luck with your garden this year!

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Multimedia Intern

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American Forests’ Communications & Marketing department coordinates the organization’s communications channels: editorial (Loose Leaf blog and American Forests magazine), digital content (web, email and social media) and special projects associated with our programs. The department is responsible for all publicity activities and marketing materials used to advance the organization. Interns in this department will have the opportunity to assist on projects related to all of these items.

Job Description

The multimedia intern will assist on a variety of photo, video and graphic design projects, depending on skillset, for all of American Forests’ communications channels listed above, in the areas of:

  • Photography
    • Conduct photo research, help maintain the photo archive and edit photos as necessary.
    • Create photo assets for social media and email.
    • Maintain photo galleries page on
  • Video
    • Assist with American Forests’ video projects, including major videos and smaller projects for various audiences and channels.
    • Research, compile and maintain stock video library.
    • Compile list of inspiration videos from like-minded organizations and major brands.
  • Graphic Design
    • Assist with development of infographics and other graphic design projects, including organizational documents and marketing collateral.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Complete multimedia-related writing assignments for American Forests’ blog and special projects.



Candidates must be currently attending an accredited four-year college or university, preferably enrolled in a photography, visual arts, fine arts, graphic design or film/documentary program. American Forests internships are unpaid and available year-round to students receiving academic credit.


  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite — notably Photoshop and Premiere Pro — or similar design skills
  • Knowledge of graphic design, photography and videography concepts and principles, a plus
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Independent worker
  • Organized, deadline-oriented and creative
  • Interest in working for a nonprofit or environmental organization


To Apply

We are currently accepting applicants for the summer and fall 2018 terms. To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter, résumé and two multimedia work samples to Christopher Horn, Director of Communications, at The position will remain open until filled.

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