USDA Forest Service
||Contact: Heidi Valetkevitch,
FOREST SERVICE OPENS ITS ANNUAL
FALL FOLIAGE HOTLINE
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2001 -- The U.S. Department
of Agricultures Forest Service has activated its hotline to
provide national forest visitors weekly updates on fall foliage
color changes throughout the nation.
Thousands of people take trips to see the spectacular show
of colors as leaves change each autumn and many of those visits
are to national forests," said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth.
"I am proud that our national forests are some of the best
places to view the seasons colors and that the Forest Service
can help visitors find the best spots to catch the show."
The toll-free fall color hotline can be accessed at (800) 354-4595.
Callers will be greeted with an automated voice system and can hear
weekly updates on peak color in different regions of the country.
The same information is available at the Forest Service's Web site:
The Forest Service manages 133,087 miles of recreational trails
and 136 scenic byways to guide visitors along scenic corridors to
witness this natural phenomenon. Statistics show an estimated 350
million visits annually to national forests, grasslands and prairies.
The peak season for fall viewing in national forests begins in
September and continues through early November. However, the timing
and length of the fall color season is also affected by weather.
Forest Service officials indicate that drought conditions this
year may cause color to peak a little early, specifically in the
areas hit the hardest by drought. However, climate stress may also
The Forest Service hotline will be current through mid-November.