Feature Stories

The wood product and carbon connection

October 7, 2019 - This graphic illustrates the open cycle of fossil fuel emissions to the atmosphere and the biogenic, closed loop of forest carbon in the atmosphere. (USDA Forest Service graphic)  When we think of a renewable resource, the first thing that usually pops in our head are the solar panels on our… Read more


Visitor Map feedback highlights good customer service

October 7, 2019 - Find your adventure using the USDA Forest Service Visitor Map, available online or on your phone.  I was recently fortunate to receive some public feedback on the USDA Forest Service Visitor Map, a digital, interactive map I helped build that assists… Read more


How the Baltimore Urban Wood Project is Reclaiming Wood, Lives, and Communities

September 30, 2019 - Post-industrial cities face a suite of interconnected problems. Reusing urban wood can be viewed as a systems solution to a complex problem – a means by which to begin to renew and revitalize lives and communities as well. RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project… Read more


A scenic fall folliage picture on the Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forest.
Fall colors are big business for a small-town store

September 30, 2019 - Vaneasa Stearns behind the counter of the Lincoln General Store (Stearns family photos.)Nestled in a small cutout of the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont is a town named Lincoln. The very epitome of a small town, Lincoln, is home to around 1,200 people, depending on the season. It’s… Read more


A picture of a small tree with a red colored leaves on it.
Be amazed by the colors of fall

September 23, 2019 - Fall colors at Cass Lake, Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota. (Forest Service photo.)There are so many beautiful songs and poems written about autumn. And images! Amazing pictures and… Read more


Forest Service helps small farmers hit hard by hurricanes

September 20, 2019 - José (Tato) Roig, owner of the Café Roig farm, which lost 100,000 coffee shrubs after hurricanes Irma and Maria. (USDA Forest Service photo.)José (Tato) Roig’s farm has been producing coffee since 1978 and has become one of the most successful farms in Puerto Rico’s Coffee Zone. However,… Read more


The forest cookie connection

September 13, 2019 - Parents with their children at the “rainforest” bake sale the author used as an opportunity to teach her daughter about forest products. (USDA Forest Service photo.)Having learned about recent fires in the Amazon rainforest at school, my first grader came home with a head full of ideas on how… Read more


David Karlsson (left, Sweden) and Aleksander Peqini (Albania) conducting physiological measurements at a landfill in southeastern Wisconsin.
Trees can do the dirty work of waste cleanup

August 30, 2019 - As part of a Forest Service research study, 20,000 specific tree types, referred to as “special trees” were planted in 16 phytoremediation sites in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior watersheds, including the 16 landfills featured here. Map developed by Liz Rogers, USDA Forest Service.When it… Read more


A photo of two firefighters providing protection for a house near an active fire with one firefighter spraying the ground with water and another watching.
Prescribed fire training exchanges

August 23, 2019 - The Ashland, Oregon, TREX team conducts controlled burning to protect structures. Photo © Amanda Stamper/TNC.Wildfires can negatively impact communities, as the past few years illustrate. However, many communities are surrounded by ecosystems where fire has always been a natural part of the… Read more


USDA employees gather on the USDA Whitten patio to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday in Washington, DC, along with members of the National Garden Club.
Five diamonds for Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday with more fun to come

August 15, 2019 - USDA employees celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday in Washington, DC, along with members of the National Garden Club. The Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl poster contest winner, Penny Atkinson, was presented with an award during the event. (USDA Forest Service photo)If birthday parties were rated… Read more


National sing-along for Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday

August 8, 2019 - Smokey Bear turns 75 this August 9th. (USDA Forest Service graphic)The USDA Forest Service is inviting folks to wish Smokey Bear a very pleasant 75th birthday by singing the traditional “Happy Birthday” song and posting… Read more


A picture of a river surrounded by forest and with large rocks scattered throughout the river.
Science simulations support salmon, other species

August 7, 2019 - A new model can also be used to evaluate longer-term environmental changes occurring in rivers, such as the effects of climate change on water temperature and stream flow. USDA Forest Service photo by J. Ryan Bellmore.How do river ecosystems support fish? How do environmental changes influence… Read more


Multiagency effort goes deep inside a fire

July 29, 2019 - A high-intensity prescribed fire consumes trees on the Fishlake National Forest in Utah. USDA Forest Service photo by Roger Ottmar.Forest fires often reach or exceed temperatures of 2,000° Fahrenheit—that’s equivalent to one-fifth the temperature of the surface of the sun. What is the impact… Read more


A picture of a person's hand hold a small pile of wood pellets.
After the fire—wood waste put to work

July 23, 2019 - Non-merchantable, or low value, wood waste such as this can be converted into biochar. USDA Forest Service photo by Deborah Page-Dumroese.Biochar, or wood waste, is a porous carbon substance that results from burning wood in the absence of oxygen. It is typically created when burning chunks of… Read more


A picture of Purple Lake coastline. Purple Lake is the largest lake on Annette Island in southeast Alaska.
Drought in the world’s largest temperate rainforest?

July 17, 2019 - Purple Lake has low water levels from below average rainfall. Purple Lake is the largest lake on Annette Island in southeast Alaska and is capable of producing 75% of the total hydropower for the Metlakatla Indian Community, when conditions warrant. Photocourtesy Genelle Winter, Metlakatla… Read more


A picture, taken at night, showing the Milky Way over Cathedral Rock, seen from the Cathedral Rock Trailhead on Back O' Beyond Road, Coconino National Forest, Sedona, Arizona
Let the stars be your fireworks for a safe Fourth of July

July 3, 2019 - Stars seem to rise above towering trees on the Payette National Forest in Idaho. Stargazing is nature’s way to help you celebrate the Fourth of July. (Photo courtesy Sam Broadway)The country’s annual celebration of its independence is not complete without family gatherings, picnics, parades,… Read more


Wildfires in all seasons?

June 26, 2019 - In recent decades the number, severity and overall size of wildfires has increased across much of the U.S. In fact, the 2018 wildfire season in California recorded the largest fire in acres burned, most destructive fire in property loss and deadliest fires in the state’s history. But for many… Read more


A picture of a hiker and biker with the words Explore the Visitor Map and the picture of a mobile app. screen showing the Visitor Map.
Millions of acres in the palm of your hand

June 19, 2019 - How many times have you been out for a weekend drive or on a trip and decided to visit a national forest or grassland only to discover that you have no idea how to get to the areas where you can have the most fun? Well, problem solved—and just in time for… Read more


A picture of forested moutains with smoke rising up through the tree tops. Smoke is wide-spread throughout the mountains.
New research confirms that today’s wildfires moderate future fires

June 13, 2019 - Based on past fire history maps, like this one showing ignition locations in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area in Idaho and Montana, Forest Service researchers found that past wildland fires regulated the ignition and spread of later wildfires. USDA Forest Service image.The Forest Service… Read more


A picture of Tongass River Rangers speaking with a sport fishing guide while fishermen try to catch coho salmon in the Situk River of Yakutat, Alaska.
Tight fishing lines on Tongass National Forest

June 7, 2019 - Gravelly Creek – More than 280 registered youth and a total of 500 people attended the 25th Annual Kids Fishing Day "Jim Beard Memorial" EventNational Fishing and Boating Week is held every year to recognize the importance of recreational boating and fishing to enthusiasts, their friends and… Read more