Here’s your chance to help us focus in on your favorite natural wonders. We are asking you to send us those amazing photos that you have taken in America’s backyard, your national forests and grasslands. These are the things that make outdoor adventures memorable, and the Forest Service wants to share in those memories.
WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 28, 2016 AT 12:45 PM EDT - Today, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new partnership with the American Forest Foundation (AFF), and a combined $5 million initial investment, to address catastrophic wildfire risk across 3.5 million acres of private land in order to protect water supplies for Western communities.
Trees do plenty of work to sequester carbon on their own, but many forests are not as healthy as they should be due to fire suppression and climate change. This can leave trees vulnerable to large scale insect damage, fire or drought, and much of the carbon stored by forests is lost to the atmosphere as trees die.
Drought, especially prolonged or severe drought, can be a major stress in forest ecosystems. Drought can kill trees directly or indirectly through insect attack or wildfire. Both of which are more likely to occur during drought.
Tree mortality impacts most of the ecosystem services provided by forests, including the amount of wood that grows, how much carbon is captured and stored, the health of critical wildlife habitat, water yield and quality, and even whether it’s safe to pursue recreational activities such as hiking or hunting.
John Parrotta, the national program leader for international science issues in Forest Service Research and Development, is a co-author of “Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition: A Global Assessment Report” recently released by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, or “IUFRO.” The report says that although conventional agriculture will remain the major source of food for people around the globe, the link between forests and food production and nutrition could be a key to ending world hunger.