In 2012 the UN designated March 21st as the International Day of Forests to raise awareness about the importance of forests. This year’s theme is “Forest Restoration: A Pathway to recovery and well-being”. This theme is on point as our nation seeks to heal from the pandemic, extreme weather, racial injustice, and economic traumas of the past year.

America’s forests are among the most diverse and beautiful on Earth. From the giant redwoods of California to the bald cypress forests of the Southern Coastal Plain, our forests are key to ensuring a healthy, secure future for us all. When left…


Co-Authored by Reverend Leo Woodberry

On January 27th President Biden signed a series of Executive Orders on Climate Change. One was an Executive Order to protect 30% of US lands by 2030. Another was on Environmental Justice directing all federal agencies to invest in “low income and communities of color” including Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities that have borne the brunt of pollution impacts. These actions create the right context for addressing long-standing inequities related to forest protection in the US.

Standing forests are vital to solving the climate crisis, providing natural flood control, and ensuring fresh, clean drinking water…


Co-authored by Reverend Leo Woodberry

Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, the month of May is American Wetlands Month, and the Atlantic hurricane season begins next week. As we Southerners brace for another season of intensifying storms, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the vital role that our diverse, wetland forests play in sheltering some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities during this new era of climate change and rapid biodiversity loss.

A diverse movement is fighting to protect Southern wetland forests and communities

Extreme flooding linked to climate change has become the norm for communities living in the coastal floodplain of the South, home to the lion’s share…


Diverse, intact forests are literally the greenest infrastructure on Earth, vital to our health and survival. They are the ultimate water pumps, critical to ensuring abundant, fresh water supplies. They provide natural air filtration, storm protection, food, medicine, recreation, and a place to find peace. Yet environmental policy solutions put forward in America today largely fail to recognize protecting existing, natural forests as a “green infrastructure” priority.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day when the modern environmental movement was born. Millions of people mobilized in the streets and in the classrooms marching, rallying, and educating the public…


It’s the International Day of Forests, a day each year that has been set aside to celebrate the role that forests play in sustaining life on Earth. In times like these, hope can be hard to find. But we can find it in forests.

It’s not surprising that every article I’ve read in the last week on how to cope with the stress and anxiety of the Coronavirus pandemic says to get out in nature.

I’m fortunate enough to live in a forest with hiking trails in my backyard. One of my favorite spots is on the top of a…


In the last two years across the US, extreme weather linked to climate change has left thousands dead and cost tens of billions of dollars, disproportionately impacting the elderly, children, the poor, and people of color. By all scientific accounts, it’s going to get worse. How much worse depends entirely on the rate and extent to which we are willing to embrace rapid and far-reaching changes across society.

Global leaders are meeting in Poland this week to resume climate negotiations. The 24th Council of the Parties (COP24) comes less than two weeks after the release of the US Government’s Fourth…


CO-WRITTEN WITH REVEREND LEO WOODBERRY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEW ALPHA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Mahatma Gandhi said:

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

He also said:

“The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

On this International Day of Forests, we want to highlight how much these statements resonate in the world’s largest wood producing region — the Southern US — where forest cover loss from large-scale industrial logging is four times greater than South American rainforests.

Healthy intact forests provide critical life-supporting services like ensuring a steady…


On April 20th, a week or so before the People’s Climate March, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded for the first time, that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere breached 410 parts per million. The last time the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere was at this level, humans did not exist. And it’s important to recognize that carbon dioxide can stick around in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

Leading climate scientists have determined that the safe threshold of carbon in the atmosphere for humans is 350 ppm. In fact, Bill McKibben and 350.org …

Danna Smith

Executive Director, @DogwoodAlliance, writing about forests, climate and justice

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