News Release

USDA Forest Service Unveils Distance-Learning Conservation Program On America's Rain Forests

Educational program will be launched this Friday in a live broadcast via satellite and state-of-the-art web resources

Washington
October 12, 2005 -

Students across the world can now experience America ’s rain forests without ever stepping outside their classrooms--thanks to an interactive conservation education program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Prince William Network and a host of other partners.

"America ’s Rain Forests: A Distance Learning Adventure," will be launched in a live broadcast via satellite and web stream on Oct. 14, 1 to 2:30 p.m., EDT. The broadcast will feature an electronic field trip to the tropical rain forest of the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico and the temperate rain forest of the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska.

"Our national forests are home to several rain forests, including the only tropical rain forest and the largest temperate rain forest in the country," said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. "This program is a wonderful opportunity for children and others to experience these rich and unique ecosystems as well as learn about the value and diversity of public lands."

The program features a dynamic, content-rich website (http://rainforests.pwnet.org/) focused on the rain forests managed by the Forest Service, including the Chugach ( Alaska ) and Olympic ( Washington ) national forests. Students can learn about: current research in tropical and temperate rain forests; the basic components of rain forest ecosystems; the differences and similarities between tropical and temperate rain forests; how people depend on rain forests; and their unique management challenges.

This free program is targeted to students in grades five through eight. It was designed in accordance with National Science Education Standards and includes a collection of standards-correlated curriculum materials for teachers. It is provided in English and Spanish.

This effort is the result of more than two years of planning between the Forest Service and numerous government agencies and private organizations. The lead private partner for the project is Prince William Network, the award-winning, distance learning arm of Prince William County Public Schools in Manassas , Va. Other partners include Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Natural History Association, Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center, Forest History Society, Ketchikan School District, National Forest Foundation, Southeast Island School District and The Nature Conservancy.

Note to editors: The live web stream beginning at 1 p.m. EDT , can be accessed at http://rainforests.pwnet.org/. The broadcast will be simulcast from Manassas , Va. , Rio Grande , Puerto Rico , and Ketchikan , Alaska.

LIVE SATELLITE FEED will be available from 1 – 2:30 p.m. EDT at:

Transmission: C Band

Satellite: Galaxy 11

Channel: 20

Transponder: 20

Polarity: Vertical

Downlink Frequency: 4100 MHz

Trouble Number: (800) 609-2680