This Earth Month we are encouraging our supporters to demonstrate how you are down to do your part to help forests. While it may feel like one person who plants a tree or organizes a trail clean-up cannot make a difference, together our impact and passion are unstoppable.

In 2018 we launched our 50 million for Our Forests campaign to plant 50 million trees by 2025. Today, we have met our fundraising goal and have already planted over 28 million trees in National Forests across the country.

Whether you are a long-time supporter of the NFF or a newcomer, here are five ways your support directly impacts forest health and helps us be #DownToEarth.

Photo by Michael McNamara.

1. Reducing Risk from Wildfires

The NFF works with the U.S. Forest Service and our partners across the country to reduce the risk of severe wildfires. After nearly a century of fire suppression that led to increasingly dense and unhealthy forests, increasing the risk of severe wildfires, the NFF is helping restore open forests.

By thinning dense stands of trees, reducing fuels, and making use of controlled, low-intensity burns, we are rebuilding forest health and resiliency while decreasing the risk of severe wildfires.

Learn more about our on-the-ground projects to prevent wildfires.

2. Regenerating Land through Reforestation

Wildfire recovery accounts for 80 percent of reforestation needs on National Forests – but our projects also support recovery from insect damage, disease outbreaks, and severe weather events, as well as expand native species habitat.

Prompt reforestation after a wildfire can be critical to prevent soil erosion and protect water quality. When you plant a tree, you help ensure our forests can provide important wildlife habitat, sequester carbon dioxide, and offer beautiful recreational opportunities for visitors for years to come.

Learn more about how we restore forests.

Photo by Elizabeth Moloney.

3. Improving the Health of Watersheds

Since 2001, the NFF has surveyed and restored more than 5,000 miles of streams, 2,000 acres of wetlands, and 330 road crossings and culverts through our partnerships and on-the-ground restoration work.

Wildfires, invasive species, and even unkept trails can contribute to an unhealthy watershed. To improve watershed health, we focus on reducing erosion and down stream sediment flow by maintaining trails and planting native vegetation. We also treat non-native invasive species to encourage biodiversity and restore habitat for native wildlife such as the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout. The result? More native plants and wildlife, clean water, and healthy forests!

Learn more about our work to improve watersheds.

Photo by Zdenek Machacek.

4. Preserving Wildlife Habitat

National Forests provide habitat to more than 3,000 animal species, including more than 400 threatened or endangered species. These creatures are part of essential ecological processes including pollination, seed dispersal, and nutrient cycling that are critical to maintaining healthy forests.

Many endangered species, like the red-cockaded woodpecker, depend on the native trees we plant in our reforestation projects for survival. Forest thinning also helps wildlife for species like bats that have difficultly navigating dense forests to find food.

Learn more about endangered species that benefit from our reforestation efforts.

5. Restoring and Preserving Native Plant Life

In all the NFF’s projects, seeding native vegetation and treating invasive species is the centerpiece of our work to improve forest health. Native plants stabilize stream banks, reduce erosion, support biodiversity, improve wildlife habitat, mitigate the effects of wildfire, reduce the spread of non-native invasive species, and increase forest resiliency. Wow!

One person cannot preserve forests on their alone, but there is so much we can do together.

With a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Transparency rating from GuideStar, the NFF has a proven track record of transparency, responsibility, and accountability. We are honored to have our donors’ trust and continue to honor them and our partners by spending their dollars where they are needed most – improving the health and resiliency of National Forests.

Are you down to join the team?

Plant a tree today.

Every individual and every gift counts in our mission! This blog, and the others like it in this section, give you a glimpse of our impact. We’re doing our part; please do yours by becoming an unrestricted NFF donor today. Your gift matters! Just click here to become a valued part of our mission today.

National Forest Foundation