There were once 4 billion American chestnut trees, covering the Eastern forests. (Above.) By 1950, the American chestnut had virtually disappeared, done in by an Asian fungus.
Juliet Eilperin, of the The Washington Post, reports that people haven’t given up on the chestnut and that interbreeding with an Asian variety has produced a tree that shows signs of being resistant to the blight.
There are now 25,000 new chestnuts, and although it will take nearly a century to find out if the new variety will survive, people are hopeful. This is a story of persistence and innovation that could reshape the country’s landscape.
•The Center for Rural Affairs is opposing the X-L pipeline, which is to carry oil from tax sands in Canada across Montana and on to the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline will create jobs, it’s true. But, according to CFRA media director John Crabtree, “The economic benefit of the jobs created in building the pipeline and servicing and maintaining it over time – we don’t think that those economic benefits outweigh the potential environmental damage…We support developing clean energy resources that we have right here in places like Montana, and we should be looking at decreasing our reliance on foreign energy sources.”
• Speaking of trees, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that the nation’s forests absorb 11% of the industrial greenhouse gasses emitted annually. That amount has increased over the past two decades as the amount of forested acres has increased.