Tomorrow is Earth Day and if you haven’t yet decided how to celebrate the planet, check out the work being done by the National Forest Foundation.National Forest Foundation (NFF) is a conservation organization that works with the U.S. Forest Service and thousands of Americans to “promote the health and enjoyment of our National Forest System”.
The National Forest System is comprised of 193 million acres of forests, grasslands, deserts, and mountains that range from Alaska to Puerto Rico. These outdoor spaces are visited by over 170 million people each year and offer unparalleled recreation opportunities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. They also support local economies, sustaining nearly 223,000 jobs in gateway communities, and provide critical natural resources, as well as clean our water and air, and host wildlife.
NFF works in six regions across the United States: Eastern, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and California. They empower communities to care for their National Forests by focusing on conservation initiatives, grant programs, and tree planting.
Current conservation initiatives include reopening recreation areas in Mt. Hood damaged by fire, investing in watersheds in Northern Arizona, and restoring Tahoe headwaters. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing natural resource issues in National Forests and Grasslands. Past recipients include the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund.
Tree planting is the third focus area of NFF and an easy way for you to get involved. Millions of acres of forests around the country have been devastated by wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and disease. In order to survive, they need to be reforested. NFF has a goal of planting 50 million trees in five years, and this is the last year of the initiative. For every dollar you donate, one tree will be planted! Learn more this video.
There are many other ways to support the National Forest Foundation, in addition to planting trees. Visit their website to find a forest and take a hike! Shop for merch, make a general donation, and let more people know about NFF by amplifying their message on social media. Follow the National Forest Foundation on Facebook, on Twitter @NationalForests and Instagram @nationalforests. #DownToEarth