Brook Trout are Signs of a Clean Watershed

Featured Replanting Our National Forests Brook Trout are Signs of a Clean Watershed By Bradley Brandt | February 24, 2017 We all have them. Hunting and fishing spots that hold special meaning for us. A trout stream where we first learned to fly fish, and that remains our favorite even though we’ve explored many streams since. Or maybe there’s a public forest nearby where the deer hunting just seems to get better and better. These places change over time, because that’s what nature does. Sometimes change comes from man. It can be productive and positive. Or not. We need to know the difference, and act accordingly. -Mary Taylor, Special Places, and the need to protect There is a list of reasons why it is important to keep America’s forests healthy. From air quality to wildlife habitat to flood control and watershed protection. What’s more extraordinary than the benefits national forests give us are the signs from nature when these wonders start to deteriorate. We benefit w..
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Brook Trout are a Sign of a Clean Watershed

Featured Replanting Our National Forests Brook Trout are a Sign of a Clean Watershed By Bradley Brandt | February 24, 2017 We all have them. Hunting and fishing spots that hold special meaning for us. A trout stream where we first learned to fly fish, and that remains our favorite even though we’ve explored many streams since. Or maybe there’s a public forest nearby where the deer hunting just seems to get better and better. These places change over time, because that’s what nature does. Sometimes change comes from man. It can be productive and positive. Or not. We need to know the difference, and act accordingly. -Mary Taylor, Special Places, and the need to protect There is a list of reasons why it is important to keep America’s forests healthy. From air quality to wildlife habitat to flood control and watershed protection. What’s more extraordinary than the benefits national forests give us are the signs from nature when these wonders start to deteriorate. We benefit ..
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Gardening with a purpose by Elizabeth Licata

This preserve is a few minutes walk from Buffalo’s downtown. Fortunately, I live in an area where places like this are cherished. This phrase appears in many recent industry trend reports, but I don’t quite remember what they mean by it. Here’s what I mean by it. For years now, it’s been abundantly clear that the country (and planet) we all garden on is threatened with wide-ranging environmental peril. We all know this. It is so very, very far from news. But. It now appears that the US government has chosen to be among the few entities that chooses to pretend that this peril is nonexistent, and is proceeding with environmental policies that will dismantle existing protections and inflict further damage. Just briefly: the new EPA director is a longstanding enemy of the EPA who has sued the agency—many times—and now plans to reduce and eliminate many regulations protecting our water and air. Another member of the new administration is also a longtime fossil fuel executive. And already,..
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Dawn Redwood: The Long Return

Tree of the Week Dawn Redwood: The Long Return By Sheereen Othman | February 21, 2017 Metasequoia glyptostroboides The Dawn Redwood is a living testimony to the surprises still found in nature. The tree was believed to be extinct and only known as a fossil, until it was discovered in China in the 1940s. In 1928, Japanese scientists who specialized in plant fossils began studying cone and leaf fossils that looked a lot like the sequoia trees in California. But by 1941, they were convinced these trees were different than the ones in California, even though they shared strong similarities. They named the tree Metasequoia, meaning a sequoia that is “after,” “between,” or “changed.” This “changed” tree would soon be rediscovered again. A Second Finding Shortly afterwards, Zhan Wang — a Chinese professor of forestry and dendrology — was travelling through a remote valley of the Szechwan province of China when a principal of an agricultural school stopped him and asked him ..
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6 Fun Facts About Presidents and Trees

Featured Misc Trees 6 Fun Facts About Presidents and Trees By Sheereen Othman | February 20, 2017 The tradition of planting and gardening at the White House dates all the way back to the first president to ever take office, when John Adams planted a vegetable garden. But the tradition of planting trees on White House grounds started with Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson planted a grove of trees on the lawn. Over the past 200 years, numerous U.S. presidents have carried on this tradition of tree planting, whether it was planting memorial trees or planting trees as part of the landscape design. Here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about trees on the White House grounds. (Facts taken from The White House Historical Association.) While the White House was being rebuilt after the 1814 fire, James Monroe increased tree plantings on the grounds based on plans by architect Charles Bulfinch. The federal government used Charles Bulfinch’s planting scheme for a thick gro..
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A New Take on Invasive Plants by Thomas Christopher

I’ve been reading an important book. It’s not new – it was published in 2010 – but it is even more relevant today than when it was fresh off the press. It is Peter Del Tredici’s Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast. Conceived of as a field guide to the plants you might encounter in a stroll through vacant lots and other neglected corners of our downtowns and industrial neighborhoods, it is implicitly something far more provocative. By treating these despised plants as a genuine flora, it invites us to take a second look at them, and their artificial settings. Ecologists and plant lovers are much more likely to value relatively pristine rural settings, but the fact is that more than 80% of Americans now live in urban areas (worldwide, the figure is something like 50% and increasing). Del Tredici’s unloved plants, in other words, are the daily point of contact with Nature for most Americans. Nature lovers who strive to green the city environment routinely root out these plants, disparagi..
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Trees are Worth more Dead than Alive (to Wildlife) by Susan Harris

Walking around the lake near my house I’ve noticed the preponderance of snags – dead trees left standing, most of them without their tops. Here’s one along the path. Knowing they’re important for wildlife, I was happy to see so many, but it took a bit of googling to discover just HOW important. According to the Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife, they actually provide MORE habitats for wildlife dead than alive. No wonder they’re also called “wildlife trees.” Thanks to that link, I’ll forever be envisioning these adorable critters whenever I see a snag. But they’re just the poster animals for snags: “In total, more than 100 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians need snags for nesting, roosting, shelter, denning, and feeding; nearly 45 species alone forage for food in them.” That link goes on to tell us how to look at them up close, which trees make the best snags, how to create them from live trees, and how to relocate them (which seems crazy, right?). So now that we..
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Trees are More Than Their Beauty

Featured Misc Trees Trees are More Than Their Beauty By Konstantin Dimopoulos | February 16, 2017 Last fall we shared The Blue Trees — an inspiring art installation by artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to raise awareness about global deforestation. The Blue Trees started in Australia and made its way to the U.S., but not without capturing public attention. The installation has done exactly with artist Dimopoulos aimed to do: get people talking about trees. Deforestation has increased around the world. Nearly 30% of the earth is covered in forestland, but more than one and a half acres of forest is cut down every second. At this rate, there will be no more rain forests left in the world within 100 years. Forests are home to endangered wildlife. Trees purify our air and provide clean drinking water to more than 180 million Americans. Have You Visited a Forest Lately? Watch this video to see how people interact with Dimopoulos’ art installment. Visit Replanting our Forests t..
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Sweet Land of Liberty, from Salvisa to Sanibel by Allen Bush

Painted palms on Sanibel Island Two weeks ago, while stuck at winter’s ugly intersection of “alternative facts” and grays skies, I sat patiently and watched the red light flash green. It dried out, and the sun shone for a day. “I think I can, I think I can,” I began muttering. In a manic burst, I dug three small trees. They were lifted and moved to life everlasting—or for what I hope will be, at least, a couple of generations of farm life in Salvisa, KY. The deeply loved, uprooted trees were an American elm and two ginkgoes. They began life as city trees, their origins a matter of fate. 1975 Liberty Tree stamp. Photo Netfali/Shutterstock The American elm originated as a nontrivial, wind-borne seedling. For 15 years I’d ignored hundreds of elm seedlings in our Louisville garden. Now I wondered, where was the source of this massive elm seed bombing? Note to Allen: It pays to look up once in awhile, instead of staring at the ground for stray weeds. I’d never noticed the regal prin..
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Loblolly Pine: The Eisenhower Tree

Tree of the Week Loblolly Pine: The Eisenhower Tree By Sheereen Othman | February 14, 2017 Pinus taeda One of former president Dwight Eisenhower’s favorite hobbies was golf. He loved it so much that he continued to play in the winter and painted his golf balls black just so he could see them against the snow. He was a regular at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Few things could distract him from the game, but a giant Loblolly Pine on the golf course could. A Loblolly Pine sat on the golf course at Augusta National and interfered with Eisenhower’s game. He was so frustrated with the tree that he lobbied to have it removed. He was unsuccessful, but the tree became an icon on the Augusta National golf course and one of the most famous landmarks in American golf. Unfortunately, the Loblolly Pine was removed in 2014 after a destructive ice storm. Eisenhower may not have valued the beauty of the Loblolly on the golf course, but off the course this tree is a beauty. ..
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