WHAT: The World Resources Institute (WRI) will brief journalists on critical changes happening to forests in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Forest and geographic information system (GIS) experts will walk reporters through a new online environmental database about southern U.S. forests overlaid on satellite images from the past 35 years. The database maps pest and pathogen outbreaks, active wildfires, potential climate change impacts, and forest conversion to suburban development – the leading cause of southern U.S. forest loss in recent decades. The system also maps other features such as the region’s protected areas and forest ownership. Journalists will receive a quick tutorial on how best to use the portal, receive copies of an accompanying report, and be provided with new analysis on this major North American ecosystem.

We will be joined by Todd Gartner of the American Forest Foundation (AFF), who will explain why the future of these forests rests in the hands of private landowners.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m
(Continental breakfast will be served)

World Resources Institute
10 G Street NE Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002
(Metro: Red Line to Union Station)

Call-in Details:
1-800-610-4500 (toll free in USA and Canada)
1-702-851-3339 (for callers outside USA and Canada)
Participant Access Code: 4697221

For journalists on the phone or watching the Webcast, please send questions for the Q-and-A by e-mail to pmackie@wri.org

Janet Ranganathan, vice president for science and research, WRI
Craig Hanson, director of People and Ecosystems Program, WRI
Todd Gartner, manager of Conservation Incentives, AFF

RSVP: Jessica Forres, WRI media officer, +1(202) 729-7736, jforres@wri.org