A WORLD with or without TREES

“A world without trees. Unimaginable!

Let’s hope that never happens because the list of benefits that trees provide are numerous. Such as: in one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles – that’s on the top of my list. Or, how about that the same acre of trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people for a year. That’s not saying we don’t need to cut emissions or implement other climate change practices, but trees are such an important part of the equation.

For this Earth Day 2021 I am honoring trees. Here are a few ways that we can “Restore the Earth (this year’s theme) by protecting and restoring our forests. I know you have heard of reforestation but have you heard of…….

PROFORESTATION

Of all forest-based climate solutions, I love the idea of proforestation. This means keeping existing older and middle-aged forests intact, protecting forests from human disturbance and it may have a profound effect to combat climate change.

‘Proforestation” was coined by Dr William Moomaw, an environmental scientist. “While Moomaw lauds intensifying efforts to plant billions of young trees, he says that preserving existing mature forests will have an even more profound effect on slowing global warming in the coming decades, since immature trees sequester far less CO2 than older ones.” So the push for standing forest protection in the U.S. is so important.

“We need to reduce the human footprint in the forest, not grow it”

Danna Smith

 Danna Smith, who has spent most of her career focused on improving forest management, agrees. She is now the founder of Dogwood Alliance, which protects southeast forests in US, is a great supporter of proforestation.  She works closely with Dr Moomaw and says that ‘proforestation is the only “natural climate solution” that gives natural “working” forests, which make up a majority of forests in the US and a substantial amount of forests in Canada, a break so they can help heal the planet, slowing climate change, optimizing climate resilience, and restoring biodiversity.” 

The Dogwood Alliance – A chance to protect southern forests. ” We need to reduce the human footprint in the forest, not grow it.”

American Forest Foundation – For over 75 years they have “empowered family forest landowners” in America.

REFORESTATION

Reforestation is restocking forests where the number of trees have been decreasing or have been clearcut, such as forests that have wildfires, invasive insects or overuse. Planting trees and restoring watersheds are essential in the restoration of millions of acres of existing forests. No matter how many billions of trees we plant, tree restoration is not a silver-bullet strategy to fight climate change. But, is is one tool in our arsenal to help. Reforestation programs can stabilize land from erosion, improve groundwater recharge and promote native and endemic fauna.

Reforestation is Great!

But we’re running out of seeds

Jesse Klein in Wired

In researching reforestation, I am discovering that due to its popularity and the supply chain challenges, there are potential logistical problems such as: a lack of seed collectors, good seeds, obstacles at nurseries, labor in planting the trees, and then there is the managing of the planted seedlings. Addressing these issues will be important. President Joe Biden’s planned Civilian Climate Corps could reinvigorate the nursery, planting, and seed collecting professions.

Here are just a few responsible reforestation programs:

The Canopy Project @ Earthday.org – Reforest areas in dire need of rehabilitation. They have conducted broad tree planting in the wake of environmental disasters. Every dollar plants a tree.

The National Forest Foundation$1 plants one tree on a National Forest in need of tree planting.  Besides reforestation they have many related ongoing projects.  I am a native of Colorado I love that one of their ongoing projects is to create sustainable routes to the summits of CO Fourteeners that have been threatening fragile alpine biodiversity and critical water sources by surging visitation. 

Eden Reforestation – Help plant 800,000 trees in deforested areas across eight project nations and create 8,000 workdays for people living in extreme poverty.

Trillion Trees –  help end deforestation, improve protection for forests, and advance restoration of forest landscapes.

AFFORESTATION

Afforestation is planting new trees where there were no trees before, creating a new forest.

Treedom – Treedom is the only platform that allows consumers and corporations to plant and follow trees online, directly financing farmers around the world.

‘Matriarch of the Meadow’ by Patricia Larenas

WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY

President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a Leaders Summit on Climate which will take place April 22nd and 23rd. This is a virtual summit open to the public. On the agenda are weighty questions, including how to reduce emissions, achieve net-zero (offsetting or reducing carbon dioxide emissions), and protect populations from climate change.

The Climate Museum – The first museum in the U.S. (located in NY) dedicated to the climate crisis is hosting

The Brooklyn Rail’s “The Sound of Science: Artists and Scientists Discuss Climate Change” panel featuring their director, Miranda Massie, on April 22 at 1pm est. This event goes until 3pm est.

Relax and Watch: Three-part PBS documentary about the climate activist Greta Thunberg. It focuses on her conversations with an array of climate experts.

Plant a tree

Donate/Support your favorite organization combating Climate Change

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

“I don’t want you to listen to me–

I want you to listen to the science.”

Gret Thunberg

  Learn, Give Thought, Be Inspired, Take Action……..Bring Back Balance

Lotus McElfish lotusmcelfish.com

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