Feature Stories

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

A picture of Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glen Casamassa speaking at the announcement event for the Wild and Scenic River stamp series in Bend, Oregon, May 21, 2019.
New stamp series recognizes America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers

June 7, 2019 - These new forever stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service feature several of the Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the Forest Service.The National Wild and Scenic River System spans more than 13,000 miles of the United States through landscapes as diverse… Read more

The once ‘living’ Smokey Bear is remembered at the National Zoo

June 5, 2019 - Smokey Bear stands next to his statue outside the new Smokey Bear exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The Smokey Bear Zone celebrates 75 years of preventing wildfires. The exhibit highlights include an iconic Smokey statue, vintage posters and photographs of the real Smokey Bear. (USDA… Read more

A picture of a person snowshoeing side hill on a snow covered mountain.
2018 Share the Experience winning photo showcases adventure on Bridger-Teton National Forest

June 3, 2019 - Ching Fu’s love of the outdoors took her to the backcountry of the Bridge-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. That snowboarding trip also propelled her to first place in the 2018 Share the Experience photo contest. Ching Fu, an outdoors enthusiast and blogger, snapped this photo on the Bridge-… Read more

A picture of output from processing of terrestrial laser scanning data, representing an important fuel characteristic “surface area” as illustrated by the different colors.
New 3D fuel modeling helps predict fire behavior

May 31, 2019 - New 3D fuel modeling techniques help land managers predict future fire behavior. Here, Louise Loudermilk (right) and Christie Hawley (left) collect 3D fuels in the field. Photo courtesy: Susan Prichard, University of Washington.Land managers have a new tool in their firefighting arsenals that… Read more

A picture showing a stand of mature longleaf pine forests.
Restoring longleaf pine on the Santee Experimental Forest: Shared Stewardship in action

May 21, 2019 - Mature longleaf pine forests provide shelter and food sources for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Nest cavity trees on the Santee Experimental Forest will be preserved, along with buffers of forage habitat. (USDA Forest Service photo by Julie Arnold.)In 1989, South Carolina’s… Read more

Nichols Scholz and Patrick Legg, Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, pose for a portrait after receiving the USDA Unsung Hero Award, Washington D.C
‘Unsung Heroes’ help find infant left deep in the woods

May 15, 2019 - Nichols Scholz and Patrick Legg, Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, pose for a portrait after receiving the USDA Unsung Hero Award, Washington D.C. (USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo)Forest Service law enforcement officers Nicholas Scholz and Patrick Legg helped find the… Read more

How Fire-Adapted Communities are Paying Off

May 9, 2019 - A 2012 lightning caused fire near Grand Coulee Dam in Washington that consumed more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of over 1,500 people but destroyed no homes. A federal coordinated fire response with the Colville Confederated Tribes, WA-DNR and County Fire is credited with no loss of… Read more