Postcards to the Future Forest

Todd Gilens

Postcards to the Future Forest

Welcome to Postcards to the Future Forest! The goal of this project is to create artwork that explores ideas of forest health, change, and resilience on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

We are inviting residents and visitors, old and young, citizens and experts to share their thoughts about forests as we develop this project. What do you love about forests? What does “forest change” mean to you? Help us understand forests by submitting your ideas below or by email to

You may have come across one of our postcards distributed around Lake Tahoe. Each features a different aspect of forest health in the Lake Tahoe basin. Download an electronic version (PDF format) or order a complete set of all six postcards by emailing

The postcards are unique artworks in and of themselves, but they are also a foundation for artist Todd Gilens to build a physical art installation in the Lake Tahoe basin. Keep reading to find out how!

Todd Gilens

Who is supporting this project and why?

Postcards to the Future Forest is supported by the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership, a collaborative effort to improve the health and resilience of west shore forests, watersheds, and communities of the Lake Tahoe basin.

Extensive clear cutting in the 1800s and 100 years of fire suppression transformed Lake Tahoe’s forests. The forests have grown back thicker and more uniform, making them less resistant to natural disturbances like fire and drought. A warming climate is further changing these forests, increasing the risks from prolonged drought, extreme storms, major fires, insect epidemics, and tree mortality.

The NFF engaged artist Todd Gilens to help the partnership explore the meanings of forest change. These postcards are part of Todd’s work as an artist to understand forest processes from the perspective of the people who enjoy them.

Together the Lake Tahoe West partners – including land managers, community members, scientists, the NFF, and others – are developing an approach to manage these changes in ways that ensure our forests, watersheds, and communities can adapt and continue to thrive.

How will you use my response?

Todd may incorporate your responses as he develops a public artwork for this project, which will be installed in summer 2021 in the Lake Tahoe basin. The artwork will provide a space for public reflection about forests and change around Lake Tahoe.

Your response will not be used by land managers or public agencies to develop forest management projects or policy, and your email address will remain private. To learn about opportunities to comment or get involved in the Lake Tahoe West project, contact Sarah Di Vittorio, Lake Tahoe West project manager for the National Forest Foundation.

Where can I see the public artwork?

The artwork, called Reading Forest, is on display from May to November 2021 at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, near South Lake Tahoe, California. Read more about Reading Forest here.

This project is generously supported by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, an equal opportunity provider. The National Forest Foundation is an equal opportunity provider.

Todd Gilens