Aspens

The Truth About Aspens

The Truth About Aspens

Did you know Aspens are not individual trees but part of one large organism with separate tree trunks stemming from one large underground system? Aspens are amazing and unique trees. Their underground systems can stretch for miles and only after a severe fire and under ideal climatic conditions, will aspen reproduce sexually as a flowering plant.

Aspen clones will have the same branching structure because they are genetically identical to one another. An easy way is to watch as aspen forests change their colors in the fall. Look at the color patchwork along a mountainside you can see the various clone families grouped by the same color shade.

The oldest known clone in existence is called “Pando” and is located in the Fishlake National Forest north of Bryce Canyon National Park in central Utah. It is thought to be a million years old with 47,000 trunks!

The National Forest Foundation with help from the Salt River Project provided fencing around 12 acres of key aspen stands on Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest this was to keep elk and deer from eating the bark. The NFF in Utah brought together various stakeholders to form the Utah Forest Restoration Working Group. The collaborative created the “Guidelines for Aspen Restoration on the National Forests in Utah,” now used to standardize and implement restoration strategies for aspen across the state.

To support healthy trees and healthy forests, donate to the National Forest Foundation today. 

We Are The Parks

We all have the responsibility to help protect and preserve this important legacy. Here are five things you can do to minimize your impact and help protect the parks for future generations:  
  • Follow the Rules.  A new story about bad behavior in our national parks comes out almost every day. With people regularly doing things like walking on geothermal features, getting far too close to wildlife, illegally using drones, and vandalizing priceless natural and cultural treasures, NPS resources are stretched. We can all help the NPS and protect valuable natural resources by following established rules.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles. With visitation to NPS sites at an all-time high, it is even more important for all of us to be good stewards of the places we visit. An easy way to reduce your personal impact in learning about and practicing Leave No Trace principles.
  • Petition & Vote.  In addition to supporting petitions and sending letters to your congresspeople. Consider the preservation, protection, and adequate funding of public lands when voting for local, state and federal officials consider. If these things are a priority for you as well, check in with your local and national conservation organizations to see how politicians in your community view the protection of public lands before you cast your votes.
  • Get Involved.  There are many ways to volunteer including artists-in-residence and citizen science programs.
  • Support.  Consider making a donation to the National Park Foundation. The NPF is the official charitable partner to the National Park System.
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