Ongoing Initiatives

School-based Educational Outreach Initiative – Daniel Stern

Through its Plant Heroes program, the American Public Gardens Association educates young audiences about the impact of serious plant pests and diseases and engages them in protecting the trees in their communities. The Plant Heroes website now features a Curriculum Hub with more than 50 lesson plans related to invasive species, plants, and environmental stewardship, and it can be filtered by age, subject, skills, and learning standards to find resources that meet each educator’s needs. Please help us expand this library of resources by making recommendations for additional content through the hub’s suggestion form. And, while you’re there, be sure to check out all the Plant Heroes interactive online learning activities as well as a variety of downloadable activity books and field guides to enrich the learning experience.

Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Initiative – Bill Toomey and Rachel Holmes

Through its Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Initiative, The Nature Conservancy protects the health of our nation’s trees, forests, and communities by creating a culture of stewardship that engages people in the planting and care of urban trees. We work to maintain the health of urban trees and forests through a suite of strategies and actions designed to improve the long term health of urban forest resources and to address the threat that non-native tree pests pose to our trees and forests. This initiative strengthens urban tree-stewardship efforts by: creating and enhancing partnerships to achieve mutual urban forest management goals; assisting the urban forestry community in its assessment of the vulnerability of trees to potential threats; developing information, training materials, and tools to promote best management practices for the stewardship of trees; engaging corporations, community members and youth in urban forest management activities such as tree-planting, stewardship, and tree health monitoring; and, conducting outreach to diverse audiences to raise public awareness about the importance of trees and what people can do to ensure we have vibrant and healthy urban forests for generations to come.

The Conservancy works in partnership with federal, state, and municipal governments as well as non-profit organizations to implement the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Initiative and achieve the following outcomes in each of these three areas: 1) Healthy Urban Forests; 2) Protection of Municipal Green Infrastructure Investments; and, 3) Empowered Community Caring for their Trees and Forests.

Promote, Maintain, and Expand the Don’t Move Firewood Website Initiative – Leigh Greenwood

In today’s noisy media environment, building a unified brand is particularly important to success in influencing behavior. The Don’t Move Firewood campaign has to date reached over 75 million Americans with a unified brand and design, winning multiple awards and recognition. Our objective is to place the brand at the service of the phytosanitary community as a whole, greatly increasing the effectiveness of outreach on firewood movement.

The Don’t Move Firewood initiative will seek funding to continue and expand the Don’t Move Firewood web-based campaign. Depending on available funding the activities to be pursued may include:

  • Expanding and improving the Don’t Move Firewood website
  • Expanding the library of available videos (available now on YouTube and iTunes)
  • Initiating regional and activity based campaigns
  • Embedding Don’t Move Firewood and other phytosanitary actions into retail sustainability efforts
  • Continuing on-the-ground outreach efforts at summer congregations of campers and spreading those techniques via professional networks

Firewood Outreach Coordinating Initiative – Leigh Greenwood

The Firewood Outreach Coordinating Initiative (FOCI) serves as a clearinghouse of the firewood outreach efforts of Federal, Tribal, and State governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, extension services, and academic institutions. By leveraging these outreach efforts, participating organizations will be better able to coordinate their efforts and identify and act on collaborative opportunities. The organizations involved in the Initiative use their resources to amplify and infuse key messages into firewood outreach activities throughout the country. The Initiative is intended to serve as a venue for individuals actively engaged in firewood outreach activities to share what they are doing and hear about others’ efforts as well.

The primary outreach mechanism for the FOCI is the monthly newsletter. To sign up, please visit Don’t Move Firewood and find the sign up block on the far right column.

 Archived Past Initiatives

Address Non-federal Quarantine Pests (NFQP) Initiative – Faith Campbell

This Initiative is no longer formally organized within the Dialogue. Examples of pests that fall within this designation are legion: thousand cankers disease, goldspotted oak borer, soapberry borer, laurel wilt, and more.

Address Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death Pathogen) Initiative – Susan Frankel, Jerry Lee, and Ken Rauscher

This Initiative is no longer pursued by the Dialogue. You may be interested in the 2011 P. ramorum Workshop proceedings or 2011 Address P. ramorum Webinar that were part of this Initiative.

Citizen Science Survey Programs Initiative – Leigh Greenwood

This Initiative was used as a short term working group to research what forest pest related Citizen Science programs were active, and to determine if the Dialogue’s participation would be particularly valuable in this realm. Initiative participants found the there are many valuable citizen scientist programs in North America addressing forest pests. The findings of this working group helped support the foundation of the newer School-based Educational Outreach Initiative, listed at the top of this page.

Engage Industry on Communications and Education Initiative – Jodie Ellis

This Initiative worked to support the Dialogue’s goals through contacting for-profit companies and trade associations that can prevent the introduction and spread of forest pests and pathogens. Initiative participants conducted meetings with representatives of several “big box” retailers, as well as online retailers. While this Initiative is not currently active due to time constraints and changes in staff, participants in the Dialogue continue to pursue various industry labeling and certification programs as well as opportunities to engage specific retailers to educate both retailers and consumers about preventing the introduction and spread of forest pests and pathogens. Other possible future activities could include putting together an effort to improve risk communication; seeking to build upon selected retailers’ and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) interest in the Dialogue; engaging municipalities, and; engaging woodland landowners.

Enhance Federal Funding Initiative – Faith Campbell

This Initiative is no longer pursued by the Dialogue. Please see the Dialogue Consensus Letters for examples of what this Initiative produced from 2007 to 2012. The work formerly done in this Initiative has now shifted to the Coalition Against Forest Pests. If you are interested in the work of the Coalition, please contact Faith T. Campbell at

Prevent Introductions Initiative – Faith Campbell

This Initiative is no longer pursued by the Dialogue. For more information on ways to contribute, contact Faith T. Campbell at

Success Stories Initiative

This Initiative published three case studies: hemlock wooly adelgid, plum pox virus, and pink hibiscus mealybug. These documents can be found in the Dialogue Products page, filed in 2010.