The Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition has long included the unofficial kick-off to ski season and a time when families head out to find their Christmas tree, and many times those events involve a trip to U.S. Forest Service lands. Recreationists find some of the best downhill, cross-country and snowshoeing opportunities with 122 ski areas in 13 states using a total of 182,095 acres of Forest Service-managed land.
Many of us may think of the forest as a place to reflect upon times long past. There may even be a bit of nostalgia in those ruminations. Yet for members of the Round Valley Tribes, a recent walk through the Mendocino National Forest in California was more than a time to contemplate—it was a time to remember an agonizing event in history.
Betsy Howell works full-time as a wildlife biologist for the Forest Service. But in her spare time she also juggles a full-time passion as a Civil War reenactor and author. Howell has worked for the agency for 19 years and currently works on the Olympic National Forest in Washington State.