Happy International Year of Forests!

National Forest Service and the U.N. join forces to celebrate worldwide forests
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National Forest Service and the U.N. join forces to celebrate worldwide forests

Exactly how does one celebrate International Year of Forests? Do you hug a tree? (Too obvious.) Plant a tree? (Earth day's got that one.) Build trails in a forest? (A year's a long time to lug a pulaski.) 

Luckily, the U-to-tha-S.F.S. has your back: They kicked off a year's worth of events with an all-star gala at New York's Lincoln Center. Obama called in sick (stupid economy), but Forest Service honcho Tom Tidwell led a "high-profile roundtable discussion on 'Forests for people.'" Ahem.

From there, the Forest Service will launch nationwide education programs and celebrations that focus on how forests provide clean air and water, ecosystem health, economic health, and community and personal health. Under the tagline "Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.", The U.S.F.S. will incorporate celebrations into the usual rotation of Earth Day, Arbor Day, and National Get Outdoors Day events.

Or you could celebrate by getting lost in a forest: Start looking for hikes in a forest near you here. Or, for a transporting journey into the world's tallest forest, read Tom Clynes' award-winning 2008 feature, "Above & Beyond."

—Ted Alvarez

International Year of Forests (USFS) via GoBlog