Reforestation Shouldn’t Be an Alien Concept

Today is Arbor Day and last Saturday was Earth Day, but I was too busy trying to fly home yet getting repeatedly delayed due to runway construction at the Las Vegas airport. Which only made me wish more that I was Rowan Layne in my Other Worldly novels, because she and her critters get to jet around with aliens in efficient spacecrafts that don’t pollute the environment with fossil fuel emissions and aren’t subject to annoying snafus wrought by human incompetence and lack of planning or consideration for frazzled humans just trying to get home.

But that’s not really the subject of this blog post, which, like my Other Worldly novels, will address planetary degradation and the importance of preservation of natural resources such as trees. Like aliens do in my novels. Or like Earth Day does in real life.

Earth Day, which began in 1970 and is celebrated every year on April 22, is made possible by, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. Its mission is to diversify, educate and activate the movement worldwide.

Earth Day is now widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than one billion people as a day of action aimed at changing human behavior and creating global, national, and local environmental policy change.

As the website notes, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency as ravages of climate change become more apparent each day.

While visiting their website, I learned of the Canopy Project, which involves the importance of forests to our ecosystems. Home to roughly 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity, forests are collectively the second biggest storehouse of carbon after oceans, absorbing significant amounts of greenhouse gases.

Forests also enhance biodiversity while protecting waterways, promoting soil nutrition and providing buffers from natural disasters.

The Canopy Project improves our shared environment by planting trees across the globe. works with global partners to reforest areas in dire need of rehabilitation, including areas with some of the world’s most at-risk communities from climate change and environmental degradation. It has also conducted broad tree planting in the wake of environmental disasters.

Which brings us to Arbor Day, held every year on the last Friday in April to celebrate the importance of trees that offer protection for land and for us. Because trees moderate climate in beneficial ways.

As I said in a 2019 newspaper column, “Arbor Day invites us to focus on a future of reforestation and all of its inherent benefits. I recently saw a picture of a human fingerprint next to rings of a tree trunk. The similarities are uncanny.”

Rowan Layne shares her name with the rowan tree, and planetary degradation and restoration including reforestation is featured in my Other Worldly novels, beginning with Mars in Aliens Abound, along with planets Mercury (Cinereus) and Venus (Lacerta) in Alien Sensation, where population is limited to allow for replenished ecosystems including tropical rainforests and deserts. Because aliens have figured a few things out about environmental protection that we humans could learn from.

Earth itself is featured on the cover of Aliens Abound not only because aliens abound on Earth, but also due to Rowan Layne traveling into space for the first time. Wherein, she views the glorious blues and greens of our planet from an entirely different perspective previously afforded only to astronauts.

In Being Alien, fourth novel of the series set predominantly in the United Kingdom, the importance of forests is addressed, including the fact that Scotland’s natural resources are responsible for removing 29 percent of the UK’s most harmful pollutants.

Rowan Layne spends time in both the forests of London, the world’s largest urban forest, and the Highlands of Scotland, wherein she learns in Contin Forest how more than half of Scotland’s native woodlands are now in an unfavorable condition, with new trees struggling to grow. Forests there now only cover a mere 4 percent of land mass.

Rowan also engages in the concept of “forest bathing” with a fae creature of the forest itself. Forest bathing involves pausing in a woodland and using your senses to mindfully connect with your surroundings, immersing yourself in nature.

This practice is said to be calming to an overactive mind. Perhaps if we all immersed ourselves in nature more, we’d be incentivized to appreciate rather than destroy Earth’s natural resources, protecting its places of wonder and magic free of caustic noise and the hustle and bustle that toxic, greed-driven overdevelopment has wrought upon our lives.

For Aliens Watch, coming sometime next year, I’m busy researching a fabled forest creature with sightings predominantly reported in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps Rowan Layne may have a close encounter somewhere on Earth. The question is, is the elusive Bigfoot really an alien?




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *