Arbor Day Awards

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2011 National Arbor Day Awards

Forest Lands Leadership Award

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative of Frankfort, Ky., and the Hiawatha National Forest in Escanaba, Mich., received Forest Lands Leadership Awards for advancing sustainable forestry efforts on public forest land.

Leaders in the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) are planting trees in an area of the country once known for its bountiful hardwoods and beautiful forests but was decimated by mining coal. ARRI was formed in 2004 to restore the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. This partnership includes mining regulatory authorities and state forestry agencies in six states and many diverse groups that are interested in restoring areas that have been stripped of trees and determining which trees will thrive in the soil. Since 2007, ARRI has reforested about 45,000 acres with more than 30 million trees.

Since 2009, the team of foresters at Hiawatha has coordinated the planting of 1.2 million trees in the forest, restoring riparian corridors, diverse wildlife species and the broader forest ecosystem. Many of the trees planted in the Hiawatha provide vital habitat for the Kirtland's warbler, a colorful songbird that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added to the list of endangered species in 1973. The Kirtland's Warbler raise their young on the ground under the branches of young, thriving Jack pine trees, which the foresters now carefully manages. In 1973, there were only 206 singing male Kirtland's warblers. Today, through the work of the forest staff, there are more than 1,800 males in the U.S. The staff also planted seedlings to rehabilitate watersheds devastated by years of settlement, logging, wildfire, farming and trapping.

Hiawatha National Forest

Hiawatha National Forest

Since 2009, the team of foresters at Hiawatha has coordinated the planting of 1.2 million trees in the forest, restoring riparian corridors, diverse wildlife species and the broader forest ecosystem. Many of the trees planted in the Hiawatha provide vital habitat for the Kirtland's warbler, a colorful songbird that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added to the list of endangered species in 1973. The Kirtland's Warbler raise their young on the ground under the branches of young, thriving Jack pine trees, which the foresters now carefully manages. In 1973, there were only 206 singing male Kirtland's warblers. Today, through the work of the forest staff, there are more than 1,800 males in the U.S. The staff also planted seedlings to rehabilitate watersheds devastated by years of settlement, logging, wildfire, farming and trapping.

This year’s winners are:

Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation,and environmental stewardship.

Leaders in tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship from around the country and world are honored each year at our annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The awards ceremony is part of the annual Arbor Day weekend celebration held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center.