Feature Stories

Wildfire-Related Tragedy Leads to Landmark Forest Restoration Partnership

July 28, 2015 - The Schultz Fire of 2010 started with an abandoned campfire. High winds blew the flames into neighboring trees and brush, igniting a wildfire that would grow to 15,000 acres of the Coconino National Forest and threaten residents near Flagstaff,… Read more


Recognizing the Value of Cleaner Watersheds

July 27, 2015 - The mission of the Forest Service is to “sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” The provisioning of water resources – notably clean drinking water and flood control – is central to this. Growing… Read more


Migrating Monarchs

July 21, 2015 - Last month, beautiful monarch butterflies floated across Chicago’s skyline as a part of their annual migration. During this year’s journey, they found more milkweed plants in several places along their paths because of an innovative program that connects urban communities with nature. Area school… Read more


Restoring Fire to Oklahoma’s Priority Forest Landscapes

July 14, 2015 - (This post was written by George Geissler, State Forester of Oklahoma Forestry Services) Forest Action Plans represent the first-ever comprehensive assessment of America’s forest resources across all lands—public, private, rural, and urban—and offer… Read more


Drones can be Deadly for Wildland Firefighters

July 6, 2015 - Imagine if a hostile country sent an Unmanned Aircraft System or UAS, otherwise known as a drone, to disturb the efforts of firefighters during a catastrophic wildfire. The confusion that might ensue could cause loss of life and property as flames jump fire… Read more


Genetic Studies Reveal a Tree’s History to Ensure its Future

July 6, 2015 - It can reach heights of 200 feet and live 500 years, and occupies landscapes across the western United States. Some say its bark has an unforgettable smell resembling vanilla or even cinnamon, and this tree is one tough cookie. It grows in a variety of soils and climates and survives fires that… Read more


In Oregon, Finding the Lost River Whychus

July 1, 2015 - Sisters is a dreamy mountain town in Central Oregon with almost everything you might want in a scenic hideaway. With snowy peaks and expansive forests, it is an ideal location for biking, hiking, or simply contemplating wide expanses of blue sky. But for… Read more


And the Winner of the Smokey Bear Poster Contest is…

June 17, 2015 - For 54 years, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs Inc., have worked together to sponsor the National Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl poster contest that reaches elementary children throughout the U.S. This year’s grand prize winner is Audrey Morga, an 11-year old, and a fifth grader… Read more


Conserving Monarch Butterflies and their Habitats

June 16, 2015 - With more than 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants relying on pollinators, their importance to natural ecosystems and agriculture cannot be overstated. However, populations of pollinators, including bird, bat, butterfly, beetle and bee species, have been declining around the world.… Read more


For the Love of Trails and Trout

June 12, 2015 - This post was written and submitted on behalf of the Pisgah Ranger District recreation staff and fire crew – Paul Ross, Forest Service Office of Communication Accessed by the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounded by the Black Balsam Mountains, the Sam Knob Project is located in one of the most scenic… Read more


Using Open Data in Creative Ways to Solve Problems

June 11, 2015 - Want to make better use of forest, park and trail datasets? Try a hackathon. A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in … Read more


U.S. Forest Service Waives Fees for National Get Outdoors Day

June 11, 2015 - Summer break is in full swing with kids (and parents) chomping at the bit for some excitement. On Saturday, June 13, the U.S. Forest Service is inviting families to join thousands of forest explorers for a free, fun-packed day of outdoor adventures in celebration of… Read more


Smoke Jumping Into History

June 2, 2015 - Most people don’t conjure up images of the U.S. Forest Service when they think of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. But every fire season the work of the Forest Service’s planes and helicopters, carrying … Read more


The Role of a Vegetation Ecologist

May 29, 2015 - Vegetation ecologists play an essential role in the U.S. Forest Service. They research the abundance and location of flora in their region as well as the factors that influence how the plants flourish. All nine Forest Service regions and most forests have ecologists on staff, representing a… Read more


Sustainable Land Management can Provide Building Materials for Post-Disaster Recovery

May 20, 2015 - The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Some, such as the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the series of earthquakes that destroyed infrastructure, homes and communities in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, capture global attention.… Read more


Much Ado about Fisher

May 19, 2015 - Located at the base of the Ashland Creek Watershed, the city of Ashland, Oregon, is home to nearly 21,000 people and a bustling tourist industry that revolves around world-class theatre experiences. Rogue Valley residents and tourists actively and passionately recreate in the Ashland municipal… Read more


Southwestern Crown Collaborative Focuses on Monitoring and Learning to Accomplish Restoration Goals

May 13, 2015 - This blog was written by Emily Olsen from the National Forest Foundation. Situated among ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and other endemic tree species, Montana’s Lubrecht Experimental Forest lends itself to learning and adaptation. In March, the Experimental Forest was a seemingly perfect place to… Read more


USDA Celebrates the Public Service of 12 Unsung Heroes

May 7, 2015 - Every day, USDA employees are hard at work providing safe, nutritious food for our families and children; conserving our land and natural resources; supporting our nation’s farmers and ranchers; expanding market opportunities for American agriculture at home and abroad; and investing in our rural… Read more


Defining Open Space in the San Gabriel Mountains

April 30, 2015 - The term “open-space” can mean so many different things to an Angelino. It can mean finding a rare open parking spot downtown, finding an open reservation at the newest, trendy restaurant, or it can mean escaping the overwhelming congestion of Greater Los Angeles into its “backyard”: The Angeles… Read more


Is the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog in Hot Water – Because of Cold Water?

April 29, 2015 - For the foothill yellow-legged frog, breeding can be a challenging matter. It is the only true frog in western North America that breeds exclusively in streams, preferring warm stream edges. Its eggs can be swept away with spring rains and rapid currents, so a relatively long breeding season… Read more