Feature Stories

Seize the daisies: Go see wildflowers before they’re gone

May 6, 2019 - Wildflowers in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. USDA photo by Preston Keres.As spring literally blossoms across the nation, the brilliant colors of wildflowers—their reds, oranges, blues and yellows—splash across the landscape from wildlands to city parks to manicured lawns. In… Read more

Pardon our smoke

May 1, 2019 - Air quality impacts from wildfires are now the highest air pollution exposure faced by the American public. (USDA Forest Service photo.)Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. Air quality impacts from wildfires have become significant health events and are now, in fact, the greatest source of air… Read more

What it takes to bring back the near mythical American chestnut trees

April 29, 2019 - This picture, taken in the mid- to late 19th century, gives an idea of just how large and profuse the American chestnut tree was in Eastern U.S. forests before being nearly completely wiped out by a fungus from Asia. Ranging from Maine to Georgia, the American chestnut tree was counted in the… Read more

The state of the forest

April 22, 2019 - The Forest Resources report found that U.S. forest area – including lands covered by forest as well as the small woody species that grow in arid regions – has plateaued at just over 800 million acres. Forest Service photo by Kari Greer.The United States forest products industry accounts for… Read more

New science framework provides basis for conservation and restoration of sagebrush

April 16, 2019 - “Resilience” is the ability to recover from change, or when you think about landscapes, the ability to recover from disturbances like wildfires. A new model takes the idea of resilience and applies it to the natural environment, specifically, to sagebrush. This resilience model is one of the core… Read more

Tree Rings tell the history of fire and forest health

April 12, 2019 - Fire exclusion in the 20th century led to abrupt
shifts in tree abundance and species composition. (Photo by Kit O’Connor.)Why are Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists sampling tree rings in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeast Arizona?… Read more

Why are big Canadian cats and recreationists being tracked by GPS?

April 8, 2019 - The Canada Lynx (USDA Forest Service Photo.)Canada Lynx, hikers, and snowmobile enthusiasts can co-exist on national forests, according to a conclusion reached by USDA Forest Service researchers who published the first ever… Read more

March 21 is the International Day of Forests

March 21, 2019 - This week the U.S. Forest Service commemorates International Day of Forests and its 2019 theme Forests and Education with the 75th birthday of the iconic forest educator,… Read more

Sustainability Success: Partnership diverts waste from landfills and helps animals

March 11, 2019 - Enrichment is essential for all animals. For animals housed in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries, enrichment helps stimulate an animal’s senses by mimicking what they would experience in the wild. Hose2Habitat, a nonprofit based in Maryland,… Read more

Serving a legacy of conservation

March 1, 2019 - Arthur Carhart was just 11 years old when he penned his first essay on the Downey Woodpecker for the once popular magazine Women’s Home Companion. Over the next several years, Carhart would achieve a series of firsts. He was the first to graduate Iowa State College with a Bachelor of Science… Read more

Did the polar vortex and its freezing temperatures wipe out the Emerald Ash Borer?

February 28, 2019 - With some news stories suggesting that a majority of invasive species across the United States have been greatly reduced in numbers because of rare frigid temperature this winter it is understandable that some folks might think the battle of the invasive is close to being won. That assumption… Read more

Making Forests Stronger through Active Management

February 22, 2019 - For years, catastrophic wildfires have threatened forests throughout the country. Wildfires have increased in both size and severity, and with them the risks to communities, natural resources, and firefighter safety. Trees, grass, and shrubs, whether in vast wilderness areas or in the landscaping… Read more

World-class Winter Sports on Your National Forest

February 8, 2019 - Americans hit the slopes about 57 million times a year, and when they go, they spend billions of dollars. The USDA Forest Service plays a role in this industry—a big one. The National Forest System is home to 122 ski resorts. That’s just a quarter of the total across the U.S. Despite this, nearly… Read more

Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday to be celebrated in Parades and Parties all over the U.S.

February 4, 2019 - There are icons and then there is Smokey Bear. Iconic mascots and images come and go but Smokey and his one clear message “Only you can prevent wildfires” has stood the test of time—75 years to be exact. Smokey, who has never given an interview, has… Read more

Private forests, public benefits

December 21, 2018 - Privately-owned forests provide water, recreational opportunities, timber and other forest products, as well as habitat for fish and wildlife. However, as forests become fragmented by roads or converted to development, the benefits they provide can be compromised or lost altogether. Now a new… Read more

Fighting fire with fuel treatments: A shared stewardship approach

December 14, 2018 - Fire season now spans the entire year. Before summer even begins, forests are primed in large parts of the country for large fires that spread rapidly in trees that are  dehyrated from drought, compromised from fighting off bugs, and often competing for space in overly dense forests.  National… Read more

‘Noble’ Christmas Tree Illumines Capitol Hill

December 10, 2018 - With a brief countdown and the flick of a switch the towering US Capitol Christmas Tree, on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill, lit up the dark. Visitors from all across America, who stood in near… Read more

Rebuilding wet meadows through shared stewardship

November 26, 2018 - As another extreme drought in southwest Colorado lingers into fall, land managers continue to search for solutions to deal with severe water shortages. Low winter snow pack and record heat left much of the state scorched, and reservoirs have been far below their normal capacity since spring.… Read more

Tribal Resource Crews help restore national forests and archeological sites

November 19, 2018 - With an eye on to getting forests back to health after wildfires and other disturbances – and protecting cultural heritage sites – the USDA Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations sponsored a… Read more

Southern Timber Owners and Industry Hit Hard by Hurricane

November 14, 2018 - Hurricane Michael, which roared through the Gulf states on October 10, hit timberland owners and timber markets hard.   John Alter and his wife Elizabeth manage more than 1,000 acres in Malone, Florida, including 18 Tree Farm stands. The Alters were… Read more