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Endangered Cedar Trees Poised to Make a Comeback Thanks to Forest Service Breeding Program

Diane Banegas, July 26, 2017 at 9:30am

The Port-Orford-cedar, a large evergreen tree, is native to the Pacific Northwest where it plays a significant role ecologically and commercially. The quality of its wood makes it an ideal choice for decking, siding, and flooring, and in specialty products such as wooden arrows and musical instruments. It is also planted around the world as an ornamental tree and for windbreaks.


Why Big Blazes are Burning up Budgets and Landscapes

Diane Banegas, July 21, 2017 at 3:00pm

In 1995, the U.S. Forest Service spent 16 percent of its total budget on fighting fires. Today, it’s 52 percent and growing. What’s changed?

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A fire whirl burning chaparral
A fire whorl in chaparral. Research can ideally help fire-managers make better, more cost-effective decisions when dealing with big blazes, and it can help everyone understand the trade-offs of fire-management decisions so fire managers can make the best possible decisions at all times for future wildland fires, according to research forester Matthew Thompson.

Small variations in breeding pools make for big differences in Yosemite toad use

Paul Meznarich, June 30, 2017 at 12:00pm

The Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus) is a rare species found exclusively in California’s Sierra Nevada. While its range encompasses hundreds of miles, spanning five national forests and two national parks, the livelihood and future survival of this federally threatened species may come down to mere centimeters.

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A photo of a breeding pair of Yosemite toads
A breeding pair of Yosemite toads (Anaxyrus canorus); a rare species found exclusively in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Christina Liang, USDA Forest Service.

Ecologists Look to Traditional Knowledge to Bolster Sustainability Science

Diane Banegas, September 19, 2016 at 10:30am

People all around the world manipulate ecosystems for their own purposes. It’s what you leave behind when you’re finished working or living in the area that determines whether the ecosystem survives or is irreparably harmed for future generations. For scientists like John Parrotta, national program leader for international science issues with the U.S. Forest Service, knowing what to leave behind is not always found in a college textbook or scientific journal.

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A local market in central India
The therapeutic uses of many forest plant species, such as those pictured above in a local market in central India, are based on generations of experiences by traditional medical practitioners, and represent an important component of traditional forest knowledge (photo by John Parrotta)

Forest Service Databases Reimagined as Interactive Web-based Maps and More

Diane Banegas, September 19, 2016 at 10:15am

Forestry data is now available to resource professionals and the public in an engaging portfolio of web-based tools and applications.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program is in the information gathering business. The program invests $75 million a year to collect data across three themes: field inventories of forest land, a census of the forest products industry, and surveys of forest land owners.

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Engagement Porfolio homepage
Engagement Porfolio homepage

Forest Service Research Improves Road Management and Influences National Policy

Cody Sullivan, August 11, 2016 at 11:15am

Forest Service researchers collaborated with partners to develop analytic tools that identify specific areas where water drains off forest roads and carries unwanted sediment into waterways. These tools, GRAIP (Geomorphic Road Analysis and Inventory Package) and GRAIP-Lite, informed new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy decisions.

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A crewmember examines a collapsed stream crossing in Idaho as part of GRAIP’s forest road inventorying process
A crewmember examines a collapsed stream crossing in Idaho as part of GRAIP’s forest road inventorying process

Fire and Forests

Diane Banegas, August 4, 2016 at 1:15pm

Since the Forest Service officially established its branch of research more than 100 years ago, it has studied fire and its positive and negative roles in sustaining U.S. forests and grasslands.


Diners Love This Stinky Food

Patricia Matteson, July 28, 2016 at 9:45am

This edible non-timber forest product can cost as much as a good steak with prices ranging from $12 to $30 per pound.

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Jim Chamberlain reviews placement of study plots where ramps have been harvested for commercial purposes in northwest Lower Michigan
Jim Chamberlain reviews placement of study plots where ramps have been harvested for commercial purposes in northwest Lower Michigan

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