USA Pro Challenge pedals into success through the national forests

It was hard to hear over the noise of screaming spectators chanting “USA, USA, USA” recently at the finish line of the USA Pro Challenge in downtown Denver. The city served as the end point for the more than 600-mile, seven-stage road cycling race held in Colorado for the third consecutive year. There were many excited faces in the crowd as 150 professional cyclists from 16 international teams sprinted through the finish line.

PLANTS Database Provides Answers for Vegetative Questions

Recently the PLANTS website crossed a milestone with the uploading of its 50,000th image. The database, managed by the National Plant Data Team at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s East National Technology Support Center, hosts images of plants that grow in the U.S. and its territories.

The PLANTS site is one of USDA’s most frequently visited websites.

Chimney Rock National Monument

On Sept. 21, 2012, President Barack Obama designated the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area as  America’s 103rd national monument—the seventh to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Covering 4,726 acres of the San Juan National Forest between Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colo., the Chimney Rock National Monument is a significant archaeological, cultural, geological and biological site.

Home to Ancient Pueblo Indians

Picket Wire Trail

Winding through numerous natural, archeological, and historical wonders, the 17.6-mile Picket Wire Canyon Trail in southeastern Colorado will transport you into the past. You’ll see 150 million-year-old dinosaur footprints, prehistoric Native American rock art, ruins from the Dolores Mission and Cemetery, and the old Rourke cattle ranch.

Prehistoric Footprints

California Man Snaps Winning Photo in Sequoia National Forest

Glen Maki of Wofford Heights, Calif., had a camera, a 210 mm lens and just enough time to press the trigger as the digital motor whirred quickly to capture a kayaker maneuver the waters at the Seven Teacups on the Sequoia National Forest.

“I was just taking a lot of pictures,” Maki said. “So when I decided to enter the contest, I had to enter the one I thought was the best. And it turned out pretty well.”