American Forests

Washington, DC   |  www.americanforests.org

Mission

American Forests creates healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife.

Notes from the nonprofit

Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States. We are focused on building a reforestation movement across America, from cities to large, rural landscapes, that curbs climate change and protects wildlife habitat, all while promoting social equity. Since our founding, we have been the pathfinders for creating healthy forests from coast to coast. In the early 1900s, we rallied forest advocates to champion creation of the U.S. Forest Service. In 2018, we won a decade-long campaign persuading Congress to provide stable funding for preventing and fighting forest fires. And since 1990, we have planted more than 65 million trees. Today, our Resilient Forests program conserves existing forests and restores damaged forests, while our Tree Equity program brings trees to cities to promote health, employment and climate resiliency, particularly for neighborhoods with low-income families and people of color.

Ruling year info

1943

President & CEO

James A. Daley

Main address

1220 L St NW Suite 750

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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Formerly known as

American Forestry Association

EIN

53-0196544

NTEE code info

Forest Conservation (C36)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Resilient Forests

The goal of our Resilient Forests program is to restore North America’s forest landscapes to full health with long-term resilience. We strategically focus on planting trees in priority threatened areas, revitalizing whole ecosystems that are essential to people, water, wildlife and climate, from mountain ranges to watersheds.

In each location, we employ a comprehensive approach to achieve lasting forest recovery, which includes research, partnerships, climate science, conservation plans, and cutting-edge strategies to ensure success.

To massively expand reforestation across the country, we are identifying priority locations through tools such as forest carbon models and the Reforestation Hub, investing in tree nurseries and seed collection, and advocating for policies to help fund large-scale reforestation work.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Through this program, we seek to bring “Tree Equity” to urban areas across North America.

Trees in cities enhance health, employment and climate resiliency, filtering rainfall for clean urban waters, cleaning the air we breathe, and keeping neighborhoods 5-7 degrees cooler on hot summer days. Numerous studies have demonstrated that urban trees improve mental health and increase student performance.

But too often a map of tree cover in U.S. cities correlates to income and race. Due to decades of redlining and other discriminatory policies, trees are often sparse in neighborhoods with more low-income families and people of color.

To help address these systemic societal inequities, American Forests is partnering with city leaders and community groups to spread resilient urban tree canopy to every neighborhood. We have created and provide free tools like Tree Equity Score and Vibrant Cities Lab to help city leaders and organizations identify gaps and create a plan of action to fix them.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Multiracial people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Resilient Forests

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Place-Based Partnerships: American Forests creates place-based partnerships in cities and forest landscapes so we can work with others to develop enduring, science-based forestry plans that include techniques for adapting to climate change. We advocate for local, state and federal policies and programs — as well as funding to support them — to bring the plans to life. We also plant and care for forests so they are healthy and resilient for generations to come. American Forests works with local partners to create reforestation plans focused on neighborhoods that need trees most and to build capacity in the urban forestry workforce. We have worked in more than 25 cities and are now focused on Detroit, Boston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Rhode Island (a small state that categorizes itself as a large urban forest).

2. Innovation Lab: In our Innovation Lab, American Forests incubates new tools and scientific research to help solve complicated puzzles, empower the forestry field and help forests cope with climate change. For example, we use climate change-informed techniques to boost forest growth after wildfires, and we share data-rich tools to help cities prioritize planting in neighborhoods that need trees the most. These tools include Tree Tree Equity Score and the related Climate & Health Action Guide and Rhode Island species selection guide to help city leaders, urban forestry professionals, and residents look at neighborhood-level scores across a city or region and identify where resources should be focused in order to close any gap in tree cover between neighborhoods.

3. Movement-Building: American Forests builds movements that inspire and empower actions at a large scale — such as the creation of new reforestation policies. Many of our projects focus on fulfilling the two pledges we have made as part of the 1t.org US Chapter, which we lead with the World Economic Forum. We have pledged to plant 100 million trees in natural landscapes and 1.2 million in cities across the U.S. by 2030. American Forests shapes new urban forestry and climate justice policies in a variety of ways, including through Vibrant Cities Lab, the preeminent online resource for urban forestry research, tools and case studies. We helped create the site and now manage it with the United States Forest Service. We also helped launch the Urban and Community Forest Working Group of the U.S. chapter of 1t.org to advance climate resiliency and equity in urban forestry.

We have a dedicated program staff of over 60 individuals, who are located from California, to Michigan, to Montana, and beyond. They are responsible for gathering seeds in remote forests, building movements with BIPOC-led and serving organizations in urbanized areas, and developing new GIS-based tools to inform mass-scale policy decisions. Their passion, knowledge, and skills drives our Resilient Forests and Tree Equity programs forward to meet the complex, evolving needs that the nation and globe have for climate informed forestry and reforestation.

Although we have planted more than 65 million trees since 1990 to mitigate the effects of climate change and bring Tree Equity to all Americans, we define our success by more than the number of trees we have planted. For us, our success rests upon several metrics, internally and externally defined, that tell us if we are moving the needle in 1) the fight for racial and social equity, and 2) the fight against climate change. If what we are doing isn’t affecting both of these mission critical areas, then we retool our programming to scale our impact and live our values.

Financials

American Forests
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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American Forests

Board of directors
as of 08/05/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mary Wagner

US Forest Service (retired)

Zim Boulos

Office Environments and Services, Inc.

Richard Kabat

Kabat Company

Jeffrey Elliott

Iridian Asset Management

William Hazelton

Chubb Group

Elisa Rapaport

Mary Wagner

US Forest Service (retired)

William Bohnett

White Investment, LLC

Ara Erickson

Weyerhaeuser

David Hunter

Electric Power Research Institute

Clara Poffenberger

Clara Poffenberger Environmental Law and Policy

Pamela Tate

Holly Beale

Microsoft

Candace Dodson-Reed

University of Maryland

James Daley

American Forests

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.