America’s vast natural resources are part of what makes the nation beautiful and distinctive. But the forests, oceans, plains and animals that make up the great riches of nature are in danger.
Take America’s forests, for example. About one-third of the country is covered in trees. But in many places, like Colorado, trees are in danger, thanks to fires, pest infestations, global warming and blights.
Some are fighting to keep America covered in acres of green, however. Biologist Richard Gilbert aims to preserve and regrow the national forests around the Rocky Mountains. Through the Charles Bessey Tree Nursery in Halsey, Nebraska, Gilbert is reproducing lost tree species.
The nursery grows seedlings that often won’t be able to survive in depleted or damaged grounds, due to events like fires or destructive deforestation.
Gilbert grows seedlings for a year, giving them a chance to survive and become hardier, and then freezes them once they are dormant. Then the nursery ships them out in the spring to forests that need replanting. The result speeds up the reforestation process and boosts the chance of seedling survival.
Watch Gilbert talk about his important work below, and watch a quiet hero in action…