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Articles on Forests

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Tools for a prescribed burn conducted in the Sierra Nevada in November 2019. Susan Kocher

Moving beyond America’s war on wildfire: 4 ways to avoid future megafires

Two forest researchers whose own communities were threatened by fires in 2021 explain how historic policies left forests at high risk of megafires.
Ethiopians take part in a national mass tree-planting drive. Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Mass tree planting: how to do it right

Paying attention to tree seed to enhance forest landscape restoration: new resources for Africa are available.
Heat and dryness are leaving high mountain areas more vulnerable to forest fires. David McNew/Getty Images

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains and at unprecedented rates as the climate warms

As the risk of fires rises in areas once considered too wet to burn, it creates hazards for mountain communities and for downstream water supplies.
Scientists have been consistently documenting environmental changes at research sites like this one in the Cascade Mountains for decades. US Forest Service

Climate change is already disrupting US forests and coasts – here’s what we’re seeing at 5 long-term research sites

This kind of research, with consistent data collection at the same locations over time, helps support global understanding of climate change.
The Cedar Creek Fire burns in Washington’s Methow Valley in late July 2021. Jessica Kelley

How years of fighting every wildfire helped fuel the Western megafires of today

More than 40 fire scientists and forest ecologists in the US and Canada teamed up to investigate why wildfires are getting more extreme. Climate change is part of the problem, but there’s more.
Juniper trees, common in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest, have been dying with the drought. Benjamin Roe/USDA Forest Service via AP

Trees are dying of thirst in the Western drought – here’s what’s going on inside their veins

Without enough water, trees can develop embolisms, similar to blockages in human blood vessels, and they’re more likely to die from drought or fires.

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