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NIFA’s Evergreen Commitment to Protecting Trees, Forests

Nifa Author
John Martins, Public Affairs Specialist

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, which began in Nebraska after the newly arrived settlers sorely felt the absence of trees — as windbreaks and shade, or as building material and fuel — in their new lives on the plains.

Now, communities across the country celebrate Arbor Day as a way to honor trees and the special role they play in the health and well-being of our communities and our environment. 

At NIFA, trees and forests are seen as a critical natural resource. They serve vital environmental and economic needs, providing habitat for plants and animals, contributing raw materials for bioenergy production, and giving farmers opportunities to practice agroforestry.

NIFA is currently funding a number of research projects that seek to learn more about trees, from understanding how trees experience damage and disease to how we can better identify and grow them in the places where they’re most needed. 

In many of these investigations, the specter of climate change is an ever-present theme.

According to USDA’s Climate Hubs, climate change will likely impact trees and forests across the country. Changes in temperature and precipitation, for example, could cause insects, wildfire, invasive plants and forest diseases to become more frequent in certain places. Reduced air quality from emissions that cause climate change may also add additional stress on trees.

The NIFA-funded projects below are a sample of the many projects either recently completed or currently underway that strengthen our stewardship of one of our most precious natural resources.

Protecting and nurturing trees and forests

Navigating and adapting to climate change

Improving the science of tree crops

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
U.S. States and Territories
West Virginia,
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