This Cyber Monday Shop The Arbor Day Foundation For Free Shipping

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Cyber Monday is a great day! Why is it great, you ask? I’ll tell you! It is the one day out of the entire year you can sit in the comfort of your chair, sip your cup of coffee, and have great deal after great deal available right at your fingertips. Ten years ago the Monday after Thanksgiving was coined as “Cyber Monday” – in short, Cyber Monday is like Black Friday but you get to avoid all the crowds and cold weather and shop from the comfort of your computer. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great day to me.

The Arbor Day Foundation has unique holiday gift options that give back. We offer Earth-friendly gifts for everyone on your list. Whether it’s tree planting in honor of a loved one, rain forest-saving coffee and chocolate, or an individually packaged evergreen, a gift from the Arbor Day Foundation can truly make a difference for our planet.

On Cyber Monday, be sure to add The Arbor Day Foundation to the list of web sites you shop for great deals and give your loved ones, friends, and colleagues a gift that has a lasting impact on the environment. Shop now for free shipping!

Plant Trees in Honor of Your Loved Ones

Wouldn’t it be great if you could help the environment and at the same time honor your loved ones? I am excited to tell you two touching ways to leave a lasting impression, through the Trees in Celebration and Trees in Memory program—an initiative that plants trees in celebration or in memory of your family and friends. It’s a win-win!

TIM_card_with_textWhether it is the celebration of a milestone birthday or anniversary, graduation from high school or college, or even the birth of a new baby – whatever the event, give them a gift that will live on long after the party is over. Trees in Celebration lets you celebrate your friends and family in an enduring way: every dollar plants a tree in one of our nation’s forests in the name of the recipient and is recorded in our official Tree Registry. You receive a commemorative certificate for every donation you make, or if you are giving a last-minute gift you have the option to print at home. It is that easy!

Just as we celebrate, we also grieve. Trees in Memory is a meaningful way to have trees planted in memory of a lost loved one or friend. I’ve personally donated to Trees in Memory in honor of those who have passed in lieu of flowers. I received notes of appreciation that the spirit of their loved one will live on in a lasting and memorable way.

Similar to Trees in Celebration, every donation plants trees in one of our nation’s forests that have been devastated by natural disasters, whether it’s a forest fire or storm. The name of the recipient will be recorded in our official Tree Registry and you have the option to ship the personalized card to yourself or directly to the recipient. In addition, you can download and print a certificate at home.

Planting a tree is an act of direct benefit to all. They benefit the environment in numerous ways, including clean air and water, combating climate change, and providing habitat for animals – to name just a few. In addition to all of the environmental benefits, trees also provide healing attributes – including stress release.

The next time you are looking for a way to celebrate or memorialize your loved ones I encourage you to consider Trees in Celebration and Trees in Memory. You’ll be glad you did. Visit our website to get started.

Replanting Our Forests: Tahoe National Forest

One of the joys of hiking is the serenity that suppress you when you’re in the wild. The calm of the forest, the scent of freshwater and pine needles. This temporary detachment from life isn’t something easily found, but when it is you build a continuous yearning to return to it.

IMG_0731A few weeks ago, I visited Tahoe National Forest to witness forest restoration firsthand after the destructive American River Fire that has deprived thousands of visitors of their solace in the wild. In 2013 the American Fire burned through 22,500 acres of trees, leaving the need to restore at least 7,300 acres of forest in order to preserve the Tahoe National Forest land.

I spent the day wandering through the forest torn between inspiration and concern. It was inspiring to witness, firsthand, the difference our supporters are making in the restoration of this beautiful area. And yet, there were moments when that inspiration was subdued by the grey haze of forests currently burning all around us.

IMG_0751The Butte Fire, Rough Fire and Valley Fire were not too far and were less than forty percent contained. Additionally, we had more immediate concerns to deal with. The charred forest presented its fair-share of obstacles, including a large number of snags—dead trees that can fall without warning. It’s a sinking feeling, knowing the reason for wearing a hardhat is out of the safety of a falling tree and not a falling acorn.

We visited four different sites where seedlings had been planted and learned how the planting grids were established and their timeline for coming back to hand-release competition from surrounding new seedlings.

Thanks to the support of our members through the Trees In Memory and Trees in Celebration program, more than 600,000 incense cedar, Jeffrey pine, ponderosa pine, sugar pine and Douglas-Fir trees will be planted across 2,600 acres of forestland, restoring wildlife habitat and natural beauty to a treasured land.

IMG_0753These visits to our replanting sites leave me humbled by the large scale of need and excited about the potential for recovery. Upon our return to Foresthill, California we stopped at a 100-yr old Giant Sequoia grove. Exploring these massive beauties reminded me of what treasures our forests are. But a forest without trees isn’t a forest.

Visit Replanting our Forests to learn more about our replanting efforts.

Beneficiary Stories

Lost Pines Forest Community Tree Recovery Campaign

In 2011, wildfires devastated the Lost Pines Forest of Bastrop, Texas. The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Two people were killed by the fire, which destroyed 1,673 homes, 32,000 acres of land, 96% of Bastrop State Park, and inflicted an estimated $325 million of insured property damage.

bastrop[1]

Credit: Joe Wolf, Flickr

The Arbor Day Foundation, through the generous support of our members and supporters, is working with our on-the-ground partners to bring back the loblolly pine trees that made the Lost Pines Forest one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world, and to bring hope and healing to the people that call Bastrop home.

Robert Horton, a retired real estate broker, has long embraced the importance of community. When his 10 acre property was ravaged by the fire that caused enormous damage to Bastrop, Texas, Robert was devastated. “While Bastrop is just a little bitty spot on the map to others, for us who live here, it is important to us. It is home.”

Recovery was top-of-mind to Robert and his neighbors in Bastrop, a community closely identified with the local Lost Pines Forest that was badly burned by the fire. The Arbor Day Foundation, working with partners on the ground, help Robert and Bastrop to restore hope and begin to heal by planting trees. 5,000 trees were planted on Robert’s 10 acres. He praised the Arbor Day Foundation and its partners. “They are a resource that is so valuable that you can’t put a number on it.”

full-08[1]What does the Arbor Day Foundation Community Tree Recovery program mean to Robert Horton?  “It means reclaiming my property.  I moved here for the forest, and now the forest is gone.  But everyone who puts one tree back in the ground helps to bring the Lost Pines back.”

When natural disasters strike, the loss of trees is devastating. Due to this great need for trees as a key component of community rebuilding and recovery, the Arbor Day Foundation developed the Community Tree Recovery Program.  This program is working to create a systematic response to disasters in communities nationwide. It helps restore a healthy community tree canopy and offers a positive engagement opportunity for residents across the country that want to be involved and support community tree recovery efforts.

In coordination and cooperation with state forestry agencies and key local partners, the Arbor Day Foundation brings national awareness and identifies financial resources to support the distribution of trees to communities in need.

Continued generous donations made by our members and supporters allow the Arbor Day Foundation to provide ongoing support to many important Community Tree Recovery campaigns. This coming spring provides new opportunities for restoring a sense of hope to communities recovering from disaster as the program continues to provide trees to areas devastated by hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.

full-01[1]The Arbor Day Foundation continues to plant trees and restore hope through Arbor Day Foundation Community Tree Recovery Program campaigns in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey and Texas. By working closely with our Foundation partners to replant trees, we are also bringing healing and hope to local communities, families and individuals.

 

From Forest to Faucet – the importance of trees in helping to keep your drinking water safe and clean

Did you know that well managed natural forests help provide cleaner drinking water to urban communities? A report by the USDA Forest Service states nearly 80 percent of the nation’s freshwater originates from forestland. That crisp taste of fresh water is made possible by healthy forests, and when forests are neglected or destroyed it tampers with the quality of our water supply.

glassBecause forests account for such a healthy portion of drinking water, it’s important to understand the science of how water is collected and dispensed. Forests absorb rainfall and use that water to refill underground aquifers, cleansing and cooling water along the way. Certain tree species even break down pollutants commonly found in urban soils, groundwater, and runoff, such as metals, pesticides and solvents (Watershed Forestry Resource Guide). By recycling rain water we’re not only producing higher quality water, but the impacts of such methods are valued at $3.7 billion per year.

Watersheds are a function of topography and carry water runoff downhill from land into a body of water, whether it is a lake, river, or stream. Freshwater springs in forests are an example of forestland watersheds.  In urban settings watersheds serve as a key source of drinking water and can cut costs for water treatment systems. In addition, the presence of trees can retain stormwater runoff by absorbing excess water through its leaves and roots that would normally surge through gutters and pipes.According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 2,110 watersheds in the continental United States.

Maintaining our nation’s forests is critical both ecologically for natural wildlife and habitat and economically in saving money for cities and residents. When forests are destroyed as a result of natural disasters such as wildfire, it has a profound impact on cities. In 2002 Pike National Forest experienced the largest wildfire in Colorado history, burning approximately 137,000 acres including the upper South Platte watershed—the primary source of water for the City of Denver and its residents.

5473897573_498a390849_n[1]The Arbor Day Foundation is replanting in Pike National Forest in efforts to restore it back to its natural state. Other forests linked to important watersheds that the Arbor Day Foundation is replanting on include Payette National Forest in Idaho, Manchester State Forest in South Carolina, and the North Carolina Sandhills. You can help replant our critical forests, and help to keep our water clean, by making a donation today.

Celebrating Forests Today and Every Day

Did you know that today is the International Day of Forests, as proclaimed by the United Nations?

We may think we grasp the importance of rain forests throughout the world and temperate SONY DSCdeciduous forests in our country, but forests play a much larger role than many of us realize. Today marks the global celebration of forests. International Day of Forests sets to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside of forests.

In the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “As we deliberate on the post-2015 development agenda, let us acknowledge the vital role of forests and pledge to work together to protect and sustainably manage these vital ecosystems.”

Consider these facts from the United Nations:

  • Forests cover 1/3 of the Earth’s land mass.
  • Approximately 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures –depend on forests for their livelihood. JaguarForests also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest dependent communities.
  • Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  • Forests play a key role in our attempt to adapt to and mitigating climate change. For example, they protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide.

Muir Woods, Mill Valley, CAYet, despite the vital role forests play in the ecological, economic and social realms of human and planetary existence, we continue to witness global deforestation at an alarming rate. According to the United Nations, deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Learn more about what the Arbor Day Foundation is doing to protect and replant our nation’s forests as well as forests throughout the world at www.arborday.org/replanting and www.arborday.org/programs/rainforest.

What to do about Wildfires: Prevention vs. Combat

As the 2013 fire season continues, the costs of fighting wildfires have continued to increase. In 2012, fires consumed 40 percent of the Forest Service’s annual budget, compared to only 13 percent in 1991. Many factors have created these rising costs through the years, including worsened drought conditions, continued climate change, and an increased number of homes built near forested areas. These escalating expenses are proving to be so costly, that they are leaving less money for wildfire prevention.

 

Forest Fires

Drought conditions, climate change, and homes in traditionally forested areas have all contributed to the rising costs of fighting wildfires.

Due to these heightened factors, for fiscal 2014, the federal administration has proposed drastic spending cuts to hazardous fuels reduction, or clearing smaller trees and underbrush through controlled cutting and burns. The idea behind hazardous fuels reduction is that by removing this underbrush, fires will have less fuel to spread rapidly and can then be controlled faster. Donald Smurthwaite, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center states, “In a recent study by the Bureau of Land Management, when wildfires burned into fuels treatment areas, they were slowed or stopped about 90 percent of the time. With the decline in fuels funding, we’re worried that saving money today will mean larger and more destructive fires tomorrow.” Limited funding has decreased fire prevention for several years. In 2009, 4.5 million acres were treated to prevent wildfires, and under the proposed budgetary cuts, fewer than 2 million acres would be treated in 2014.While the proposed budget for fiscal 2014 would increase overall funding for wildfires, it would largely cut the hazardous fuels budgets for several agencies. In all, 41 percent of these budgets would fall, reducing the current funds of $502 million to $297 million.  This will be the third consecutive year the administration’s proposed budget includes spending cuts to forest treatment to prevent wildfires. Many of these cuts will greatly affect our tree partners — the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.

As an organization of people that cares deeply about our nation’s forests and trees, the Arbor Day Foundation continues to challenge ourselves to better understand how to collaborate with our partners on the ground as they overcome these budgetary hurdles.  There simply isn’t funding available as there has been in decades past, and that is where our valued members, supporters, corporate donors and partners can help us to heighten our efforts to do more with less. They can help us to see new ways to partner with these groups, to create even more relevant programs, and to provide trees to those areas most in need. As we address each new challenge, we search for ways to better engage our loyal members and tree advocates to keep them involved in the good work our partners accomplish each year with our support.

With the help and generosity of our vast network of tree advocates, we will continue to foster our enduring 25-year partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. With their help, the Arbor Day Foundation will continue to bring new ideas surrounding education, conservation, and tree planting in wildfire-stricken areas.

Two ways you can take action now:
The Backyard Woods Program: Managing Forests Can Save Forests
Donate now to replant trees where they’re needed most

Data cited in this post sourced from NBC News.
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Abbie Eisenhart is a Community Tree Recovery Manager for the Arbor Day Foundation.

Celebrating Global Tiger Day: July 29

Today – July 29 – is Global Tiger Day, a day for appreciating and celebrating all species of tigers worldwide. Unfortunately, this also means realizing their great decline in numbers due to poaching, habitat loss, and conflicts.

Tigers recline in their natural habitat. Image via National Geographic; photo credit: Steve Winter.

Tigers recline in their natural habitat. Image via National Geographic; photo credit: Steve Winter.

Did you know…trees and tigers go hand-in-hand. A majority of tigers’ natural habitats are made up of forests. Tropical, evergreen, temperate and snow-covered hardwood forests, along with mangrove swamps, are all home to various species of tiger.

Celebrate these beautiful creatures on Global Tiger Day — and every day — by raising awareness and supporting the preservation of their habitats.

Five facts about tigers from our friends at the World Wildlife Fund:

Tiger Ranges

This map shows the shrinking global range of tigers. Map copyright World Wildlife Fund.

1. In the last century alone, tigers have lost 93% of their historic range.

2. Continued large-scale habitat destruction and decimation of prey populations are the major long-term threats to the continued existence of tigers in the wild.3. Tiger habitat decreased by 45% in the last 10 years.

4. All tigers need dense vegetation, the presence of large ungulate prey, and access to water to be able to survive.

5. Tigers are found in a wide range of habitats in Asia and the Russian Far East, in increasingly fragmented and isolated populations.

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Coe Roberts is an Electronic Communication Specialist at the Arbor Day Foundation.

U.S. Forest Service says increased land use development threatens woodlands

Last month, the U.S. Forest Service released a comprehensive report on how increased population and land use development may threaten woodlands and their numerous benefits in the next 50 years.

According to the report, where regions choose to locate new residential and commercial development in the coming decades could have a big impact on the health of privately-owned forests, which we rely on to help provide clean drinking water, wildlife habit and outdoor recreation, among other benefits.

Forested land also helps remove pollutants from the air and sequester the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.

While the amount of land currently under development or with the potential to be developed remains very small as a percentage of total U.S. land, many of the areas slated for building are both close to existing urban areas and likely to intersect with forests.

The report does not include policy recommendations, but it does point to areas where elected leaders may want to pursue a different course that betters conserves finite resources.

Most decisions about where to build rest with local governments, but their choices are heavily influenced by federal transportation, energy and housing policy. For example, a transition to more renewable fuels would reduce harmful emissions that put a strain on forests. More transportation options would ease traffic congestion and reduce the need for new highway construction. And, practical and affordable housing in more centralized locations would reduce the need for some new development in the outskirts of urban areas.

Local leaders may also begin to transition priorities themselves as their constituents advocate for woodlands and recreation for quality-of-life purposes.

How we allocate our land resources means a lot for America’s forests. With this report, policymakers and citizens can continue the discussion on how to best balance growth and conservation.

Enterprise to run ad during Olympics touting 50-Million Tree Pledge, partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation

When you tune in for the 2012 London Olympics starting tomorrow, keep an eye out for an advertisement from Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, that features their 50-Million-Tree Pledge.

The pledge is an aggressive, multi-year partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service to plant 50 million trees in high-need national and state forests. Nearly seven million trees have been planted so far.

The newly-planted trees are crucial to protecting wildlife habitat, recreational benefits and clean water for millions of Americans.

Enterprise has been one of the Foundation’s stand-out corporate partners, and we look forward to continuing the relationship for decades to come.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the company’s hometown newspaper, reported on the ad buy this week, noting that the spot is slated to run from July 27 through August 12, including during closing ceremonies.

The full story includes an early viewing of the 60-second spot, which contains gorgeous footage of national forests. A shorter 30-second spot will also be in rotation. Learn more about the 50-Million Tree Pledge here.