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.

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

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

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

Species Spotlight: Wild Turkey

Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee. Photo by Tim Lumley. In keeping with the holiday theme of our last newsletter articles, I quickly volunteered to write the article for this November. Maybe, subconsciously, my willingness to take on the task was out of sheer laziness, but of course this article is

Small woodlots are a big deal to the Chesapeake’s restoration

The commencement of spring is always a significant moment in our Chesapeake forests. Buds swell, ready to break dormancy and add the first of the year’s growth to the canopy while green hues begin to emerge from the forest floor. It is also significant for forest enthusiasts who, themselves, are breaking from

Planning Your Legacy

“A society grows great when old men (and women) plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” I ran across this Greek proverb a while back. Although it has broader societal implications for sure, as a tree enthusiast, I can’t help narrowly interpreting it for the work we in the conservation

Healthy Streams Farm Stewardship Program

Gathered in a large event hall at Dutch’s Daughter restaurant in Frederick, MD, surrounded by plush carpeting, tapestries on the walls, and a projector screen pulled down over ornately carved wood fireplace, it seems an odd space to host a workshop for farmers on the value of streamside forest buffers. But local University of

Healthy Streams Farm Stewardship Program Workshop

Monday, February 23rd, 9:00 am – 11:30 am Dutch’s Daughter 581 Himes Avenue Frederick, MD 21703   Learn about strategies and new funding sources available to farmers to achieve healthier cows and cleaner streams. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is hosting the free workshop and lunch on February 23, 2015 at Dutch’s Daughter

Nominate a Chesapeake Forest Champion 2014

  2014 Chesapeake Forest Champion contest seeks nominations. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay with support from the U.S. Forest Service is soliciting nominations for their annual Chesapeake Forest Champions contest. Forests provide clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and a host of other benefits to people. In rural and urban