2011 is the International Year of Forests, and as part of their efforts to promote the sustainable forestry, the National Association of State Foresters, which represents state forestry agencies, and the National Network of Forest Practitioners, granted a fellowship to photographer Josh Birnbaum to document the state of the nation's forests.

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Birnbaum's first stop was in West Virginia, where he hung out with young foresters (pictured above), visited with the wood industry, traveled with researchers to a post-mining reclamation area, and documented blight fungus.

He's now in South Dakota, to cover insect infestations, but he'll also be making stops in Joplin, Mo., to visit with an arborist disaster team training session and in Montana. Follow along — and check out more fantastic photos — here.

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