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About Craig Highfield

Craig is the Director of our Chesapeake Forests Program, where he manages a variety of projects that improve existing forests, create new ones, and educate residents and decision-makers about the benefits of forests in the Chesapeake watershed.

Position Announcement: Pennsylvania Forests Projects Coordinator

About the Alliance: The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) is a regional nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring together individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to find collaborative solutions, to build a strong commitment to stewardship, and to deliver innovative, broadly-supported programs that benefit the land, waters and residents of the Chesapeake Bay. The

  • A photo of a goldenrod plant in bloom.

Glorious Goldenrod!

Hazy, late afternoon summer sun. Blue skies, drowsy hum of busy insects, and calls of bobolinks, song sparrows and eastern meadowlarks. Picking blackberries. Old fields behind the barn, seas of yellow and green, stand out in my mind’s eye. Deep breaths of that crushed scent – lingering and distinct – bringing the outdoors inside

The Covert Next Door: A Bobwhite Quail Story

It was a warm spring late afternoon several years ago, much like it finally is now as I write this article. My wife and I were walking our dog and young children around our rather suburban neighborhood outside of Annapolis. We had just turned the last corner onto our road when I heard a

Forests for the Birds – An Egg-Sighting Edition

Think Spring! At the Alliance, we have birds on the brain. After a few months of colder weather, shorter days and muted colors, we get excited to see the first signs of Spring throughout the Bay watershed. From the first erupting skunk cabbages, budding willows and blooming wildflowers, to the early courting songs

Forest Birds: The Spice of Life!

When you hear the phrase, “forest birds,” what comes to mind? Tall, mature oaks and pines spanning ridge tops? Riverbank guardians of sycamore and willows? Thick, young stands of aspen and birch? Low-lying bottomlands of red maple and black gum? The amazing assortment of plant communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed sets the stage

Attention Maryland landowners: Tree planting opportunity available

The trees on your land provide you a myriad of benefits. For the past few years the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has teamed up with Maryland Forest Service and the Maryland Forestry Foundation to help landowners implement tree planting projects through our Healthy Forests Healthy Waters program. With funding secured from the

  • Photograph of a monkey slug.

Otherworldly Creatures: you have to see it to believe it!

Folklore is a popular topic of conversation this time of year, and the Philippines, a country consisting of more than 7,600 islands in Southeast Asia in the Pacific Ocean, generates its fair share of ancient, creepy and mythical beasts. Consider the aswang (or evil shape shifter) known as Gumon. The Gumon literally has killer

  • Photo of the fungus, Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)

From the Grave: Dead Man’s Fingers

You’re walking through the woods on a crisp, late October afternoon, smelling the sharp scent of decaying leaves and listening to the dry rustle of beech leaves in the breeze. You decide to take a break, sit on an old stump, munch an apple and observe this amazing world…but, what is that reaching up

A Visit From the Reaper

It was an early autumn evening while sitting in repose in a stately northern red oak tree (Quercus rubra) that I recount a rather haunting tale of intrigue and misunderstanding. I had just settled in to the second hour of self-imposed confinement eighteen feet above the forest floor. My mind had already broken free from

The FIDS are Alright?

A male scarlet tanager, right, and female scarlet tanager are photographed at the Foreman's Branch Bird Observatory at Chino Farms in Kent County, Md., on May 11, 2016. The scarlet tanager is a neo-tropical migrant, spending its breeding season in North American woodlands. It is one of many species that depends upon

The Macabre Mushroom

It's not a dark and stormy night, but rather a clear and sunny day that I write about for my Halloween-themed forest tale. It was unusually hot and humid for an early autumn hike in the mountains of western Maryland. My wife, kids, dog and I were on our annual and perfectly timed pilgrimage to

  • Red maple

The Rubrum Cunundrum

Over the vast many years that I have been interacting with our region’s forest practitioners and enthusiasts, I have observed that many of us harbor a profound and deep emotional relationship to particular species of trees. These emotions run the gamut from effusive adoration to downright animosity. Some species are almost unanimous in the passions