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.

How Our Work With Corporate Partners is Offsetting Carbon Emissions

The work of the Arbor Day Foundation would not be possible without the support of our corporate partnerships. Today, more and more companies are focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. They have a sense of obligation to the environment and the communities in which they live and work. They help us further the use of trees as a solution to growing global issues such as water and air quality, climate change, and poverty.

figure-offsetting[1]We work with companies to develop relationships that not only support their sustainability and CSR goals but also have a positive impact on the environment. By partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation, companies have been able to reduce paper usage and waste, inspire engagement with their employees and customers, help communities rebuild after natural disasters, and support environmental conservation through education programs. Some of our current corporate partners include Disney, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, FedEx, Mary Kay, Toyota, UPS, and Wyndham.

Recently, companies have started to quantify and report on the amount of carbon they are emitting through construction, manufacturing, utility usage, shipping, travel, etc. More importantly, they are now taking steps toward reducing those emissions internally or offsetting those emissions. Each of us produces carbon emissions daily. Every time you turn on your car or take a flight, you are using energy, which results in emitting carbon. One typical domestic flight is equal to emitting 1.4 metric tons of carbon. These carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which can have a significant negative impact on the environment, particularly over a long period of time.

There are many ways to offset carbon usage; however, we believe the optimal method is reforestation. Reforestation is replanting of trees on forest lands that have been used for decades for a variety of non-forest purposes such as farming and mining. The Arbor Day Foundation works with trusted carbon offset partners to build reforestation projects that meet this new need of our corporate partners. Trees are amazingly efficient at offsetting carbon. The U.S. Forest Service has calculated that our forests as a whole currently sequester approximately 10–20% of the country’s emissions each year. This accounts for 90% of all the carbon sequestered in the U.S. today. Choosing reforestation as a carbon offset strategy not only provides companies with the carbon credits but also provides a host of other environmental and economic benefits that other carbon offset projects cannot—such as improvement of water and air quality, protecting wildlife habitat, and creating new jobs.

For more information on becoming a corporate supporter of the Arbor Day Foundation and offsetting your company’s carbon emissions through reforestation, contact our Corporate Partnerships team.