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Data provided by SilviaTerra

The forest is talking

Trees are essential to our planet’s health, but deforestation, drought, pests, and wildfires are destroying this precious resource. Much of the information we need to protect forests is revealed in nature itself—if we listen. Learn how technology can help us tap into what the forest is telling us and help us preserve the trees we all rely on. Scroll to explore
Abstract blurry image consisting of different tones of forest greens

You can't solve what you can't see

For decades, foresters have relied on data collected in small sections of forest, recording their observations manually and then projecting those results across millions of acres. This means they’re not getting a complete picture of a forest’s health or impending risks.  

Now we have a clear picture

Using satellite imagery and AI, SilviaTerra has created the most detailed United States forest map ever. It allows us to see—at 100x the resolution—what we couldn’t see before. Foresters can now get an inventory of a forest within a fraction of an acre to better identify and manage wildfire risk, treat pests, and protect wildlife habitats.  
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Olympic National Park

View of Olympic National Park with mountains and blue sky

Revitalizing Earth’s most ancient giants

The old-growth forests of the Olympic Peninsula have long been prized by the timber industry. During World Wars I and II, these massive conifers were used to make airplane wings. Today, they’re a vital habitat for endangered animals like the Marbled Murrelet, and efforts are underway to restore these ancient giants that once made the region the logging capital of the world.

Olympic National Park

A marbled murrelet sitting balanced amongst the limbs of an old growth conifer

Old-growth forests provide homes to endangered species

During the heyday, loggers cut down two-thirds of the Olympic National Park. This is particularly problematic for Marbled Murrelets, seabirds so secretive that how and where they nest wasn’t discovered until 1974. Murrelets don’t build nests—instead, they use the huge branches of 150-year-old trees like the Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, and western red cedar. This has made efforts to restore the ancient tree stands all the more urgent.

Olympic National Park

Mossy tree trunks and ferns seen from the forest floor

Identifying key areas for restoration with AI

The key to restoring ancient tree stands lies in identifying high-density areas of old-growth conifers—a task made possible by SilviaTerra’s AI-powered maps. This helps foresters ensure that existing murrelet habitats are protected so that the species can continue to lay eggs. The data also guides forests in managing areas of new growth so they can one day develop into old-growth stands that spur even more wildlife to thrive.

Olympic National Park

A close up of a marbled murrelet flying over the ocean

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Tahoe National Forest

A view of Lake Tahoe through old growth trees

In Tahoe, water and wildlife at risk

High in the Sierras, Tahoe National Forest serves as a home to a wide variety of fish and wildlife, a primary water supply for California and Nevada, and a destination for millions of visitors each year. But the effects of climate change have put this natural wonderland at risk, with droughts and infestations threatening the pine and fir trees that host the forest’s complex habitats.

Tahoe National Forest

Fire blazing through tree trunks during the King Forest Fire in 2014

A forest made vulnerable by climate change

In recent years, drought has weakened and wiped out huge stands of pine and fir trees. Unusually mild, dry weather means more insects are surviving the winter and causing infestations. It also means trees lack the water source they need to create a sticky resin they use to fight off these insects. As more trees die and decay, they become dangerous fuel for wildfires like the nearby Angora and King Fires.

Tahoe National Forest

Growth on the forest floor following the Angora Forest Fire in 2007

AI helps foresters focus effort where it's needed most

SilviaTerra’s AI-powered maps can help foresters pinpoint where they most need to repopulate pine and fir trees, while also identifying areas that have the potential to turn into ‘old growth’—with the right management and protection. Armed with precise data, foresters can orchestrate controlled burns and strategic planting that prevents catastrophic wildfires and over time, restores the forest’s health and resilience.

Tahoe National Forest

Aerial shot of Lake Tahoe on a clear summer day

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Carson National Forest

Rock formations against sky in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

The pinyon pine's distress signal

For centuries, Native Americans in the west ate nuts from the pinyon pine tree, brewed tea from its needles, and used its aromatic wood during sacred ceremonies. But now, this vital tree to Southwest communities and ecosystems is in distress, even in the protected Carson National Forest. The culprits? Extremely high tree density, extended drought, and bark beetles.

Carson National Forest

Bark beetles reproducing in the inner bark of a tree, boring pathways into the bark of the tree

Threats from bark beetles exacerbated by climate change

Bark beetles have always attacked these pinyons, but climate change has made them more vulnerable. Extended droughts and the suppression of natural wildfires have led to extremely high tree density. This creates perfect conditions for a massive bark beetle infestation. More dead trees, coupled with the drought, then set the stage for a potentially catastrophic wildfire.

Carson National Forest

A close up of pollen cones from the Pinyon pine

Identifying risks to the forest with AI

With SilviaTerra’s AI-powered maps, foresters can identify and manage problem areas quickly and accurately. By pinpointing areas of overgrowth, they can determine where to harvest smaller trees and reduce density. And by mapping the occurrence of dead trees due to beetle infestations, they gather valuable clues to protect healthy trees. The more they know, the more they can do to help the forest thrive.

Carson National Forest

Pinyon jays in a tree

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Mark Twain National Forest

Greer Spring in Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri

The white oak struggles for sustainability

American white oaks are the lifeblood of the Ozarks, home to Mark Twain National Forest. Their acorns feed wildlife, their bark houses over 500 species of moths and butterflies, their massive canopies sequester carbon, their roots stop mud erosion, and their wood plays a key role in making furniture and bourbon. But the mighty oak is in decline due to excessive logging and climate change.

Mark Twain National Forest

Bourbon barrels made of white oak stacked inside a distillery

Preserving and restoring a heavily deforested area

The American white oak is a favorite for everything from furniture to whiskey barrels, thanks to its resilience and abundance. But over the years, this means the mighty oak has fallen victim to excessive logging. It’s also facing challenges from climate change, which has introduced new pests and diseases, as well as a surging deer population that’s threatening efforts to restore the oak.

Mark Twain National Forest

A fall day on a trail in Mark Twain National Forest surrounded by White Oak trees losing their leaves

Tracking areas of oak decline with AI

Thanks to Silvia Terra’s AI-powered maps, foresters can identify areas of large tree density where carbon sequestration is highest. In turn, they can also pinpoint key areas of oak decline. This gives them the data they need to manage logging in a way that sustains carbon sequestration, protects areas of new growth, and helps preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystems that depend on the white oak.

Mark Twain National Forest

Fresh green White Oak leaves silhouetted against bright green spring color

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Apalachicola National Forest

Trout Pond Recreation Area in Apalachicola National Forest

Preserving pines that support biodiversity

Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest is a biological and botanical treasure trove—home to the highest density of amphibians and reptile species north of Mexico, over 1000 plant species, 52 mammal species, 60 snail and clam species, 86 fish species, and 315 bird species. But heavy commercial logging of slash, longleaf, and pond pines has taken a toll on wildlife habitats.

Apalachicola National Forest

A Bachman Sparrow perched on the branch of a tree

Bringing a forest's habitats back from the brink

One of the most biologically diverse national forests in the US is also the most endangered. Over a century of heavy logging has whittled away at the pine population, with mature longleaf pine stands being hit particularly hard. Today, the once-common Bachman’s Sparrow is also endangered because it relies on mature longleaf pine trees to survive—and survival means preserving the last vestiges of its habitat.

Apalachicola National Forest

A view of the top branches and needles of longleaf pine trees

Pinpointing critical habitats using AI

Thankfully, SilviaTerra’s AI-powered maps can help foresters pinpoint high-density areas of slash, longleaf, and pond pines trees that serve as the existing habitat for the Bachman’s Sparrow. This gives them valuable data to preserve areas of older growth, plant new trees to restore former timberlands into forest, and help this unique ecosystem thrive again—for the Bachman’s Sparrow and beyond.

Apalachicola National Forest

A view of longleaf pines from the forest floor against a backdrop of blue skies

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

New York City Watershed

A view of a lake in upstate New York surrounded by trees whose leaves have turned many shades of red, yellow and orange

A watershed moment in New York

The New York City Watershed proves that the impact of trees extends far beyond the forest. Take the eastern hemlock that guards New York City’s drinking water. This streamside tree grows up and down the state of New York. Its powerful roots stabilize the steep embankments of the watershed that supplies clean water to New York City and supports a vibrant ecosystem. But this vital tree is under attack by an invasive species.

New York City Watershed

Woolly adelgid egg sacs, which resemble small tufts of cotton clinging to the underside of hemlock branches

Eastern hemlocks battle infestation from invaders

New York’s hemlocks create a huge evergreen canopy that moderates temperatures and supports ecosystems that thrive in cool, damp climates. But the eastern hemlock has also become home to an unwanted guest—the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive pest from Asia that preys on its nutrients. Unchecked, this insect is creating an infestation of epidemic proportions.

New York City Watershed

A view of Eastern Hemlock and White Pine from the forest floor

AI helps foresters fight against infestation

Foresters can now use SilviaTerra’s AI-powered map to identify high-density areas of eastern hemlocks and determine where infestation risk is the highest. Using this data, they can better prepare for battle against the adelgids, creating a targeted plan to treat infested trees and protect the healthy ones. And it’s a battle they can’t afford to lose—keeping these trees healthy is essential for keeping New York’s water clean.

New York City Watershed

A lush old growth forest of mainly eastern hemlock and northern hardwoods surrounding a stream

If we listen, we can help protect the world’s forests

When we tune in to what the forests are telling us—and bring together human ingenuity and technology—we have the power to solve some of our planet’s biggest environmental challenges.  Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.
Share, learn more or donate to help save our forests.
Click on a national park to see how Microsoft AI can help foresters identify issues faster than ever before.

Share

Let others know how AI technology can help preserve our forests.

Learn

Visit The Nature Conservancy and learn about their goal of planting a billion trees by 2025.

Visit SilviaTerra and learn about their use of cutting-edge satellite imagery and machine learning to transform how conservationists and landowners measure and monitor forests.

Learn more about SilviaTerra and their mission to help the forests of the future.

Donate

Join us in supporting The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign, a large-scale restoration effort to help save the Earth from deforestation.

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