Forest Focus: Audio Podcast

Forest Focus is an audio program about the National Forests in California. Episodes focus on issues such as ecological restoration, fire, recreation, law enforcement, tribal relations and much more.

The show features specialists that work for the U.S. Forest Service and guests who provide other points of view on Forest Service issues.

Episode 24: Native American Heritage Month

In this episode, we focus on National Native American Heritage Month and speak with a former Modoc National Forest employee about his career, his Choctaw heritage and his chance of a lifetime to work with Bison and the Modoc Nation.

Episode 23: Bats

In this episode, Ted Weller, an ecologist with the Pacific Southwest Research Station, helps us go batty for bats. Each year, Bat Week is observed the week before Halloween and is used by bat enthusiasts, scientists, conservation groups and others to educate the public, dispel myths and bring attention to the struggles they face. The beneficial impact these amazing creatures have on our ecosystem should be celebrated far beyond the season of spooky ghosts, skeletons and vampires.

Episode 22: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In this episode, we focus on Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by speaking with three employees about their childhood, how they got involved in the Forest Service and more. So join us in welcoming a hydrologist, a shared stewardship coordinator, and the acting National Forest Stewardship Program manager in Incorporative Forestry.

Episode 21: Nature's Benefits 101—Part 2

We learned in Episode 19 about Ecosystem Services or Nature's Benefits in an introduction-type show. This show, we dive back in with Part 2 of that series with our first forest benefit spotlight shining on - Water. A research associate with the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center joins us to talk about this critical need.

Episode 20: This Is Who We Are—Working During The Pandemic

In this episode we speak with Sarah LaPlante, a Forest Service employee, about her challenges of working as a District Ranger on the Stanislaus National Forest during the COVID-19 pandemic and balancing her workload with her new role as a mother.

Episode 19: Nature's Benefits 101—Part 1

Millions of us understand what the benefit of being outdoors has on our mind, body and spirit. But what other benefits does the natural world provide on your national forests? Well, this episode we explore how nature benefits our daily lives with an introduction into ecosystem services, otherwise known as nature's benefits.

Episode 18: National Greening Fire Team—Recycling At Fire Incidents

The focus of this episode is recycling. What happens when a large wildfire requires the creation of a fire camp or incident command post, where hundreds or even thousands of personnel support the firefighting effort? The amount of trash that accumulates could match that of a small town. We speak with the National Greening Fire Team, ambassadors, and recycling vendors who work to lessen this environmental impact.

Episode 17: Pack Stock Center of Excellence

In this episode of Forest Focus, we explore backcountry and wilderness packing with the Pacific Southwest Region's Pack Stock Center of Excellence. Have a listen to a tradition, one covered in over a hundred years of trail dust, that is still critical and relevant today in supporting fire management, ecosystems and forest management.

Episode 16: NEPA's 50th Anniversary

In this episode of Forest Focus, Steve Dunsky, a videographer and historian of the Forest Service for more than 30 years, speaks with Char Miller about the 50th anniversary of NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act. Char Miller is Director of the Environmental Analysis Program and W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Dr. Miller is the author of many books, articles and blog posts on environmental history and politics. He has consulted on, and appeared in many documentaries including The Greatest Good, a history of the U.S. Forest Service.

Episode 15: Black-backed Woodpeckers and Fire

In this episode of Forest Focus, Diana Craig and Rodney Siegel discuss the black-backed woodpecker and its relationship to fire. They are working on an effort to assess the habitat needs of these birds which appear to thrive in recently burned forests. Diana Craig is a wildlife biologist and the Deputy Director of Ecosystem Management for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service. Rodney Siegel is the Executive Director of the Institute for Bird Populations in Pt. Reyes Station, California.

Episode 14: Travel Analysis

In this episode of Forest Focus, Ann Dunsky of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff interviews Deputy Regional Forester Ron Ketter, who explains Travel Analysis and the importance of the National Forest road system in California.

Episode 13: Capitol Christmas Tree

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs interviews those who assisted with the logistics of this year's Capitol Christmas Tree for Washington D.C. The tree is coming from the Stanislaus National Forest — the first time the tree has come from California since 1995.

Episode 12: Green Fire

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs talks about the film Green Fire with filmmakers Steve Dunsky, Ann Dunsky and Dave Steinke.

Episode 11: Ecological Restoration Using an All-Lands Approach

In this episode of Forest Focus, Steve Dunsky and John Heil of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff speak with various experts on ecological restoration.

Episode 10: Fire Investigations

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil and Steve Dunsky of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff interview experts on fire investigation.

Episode 9: Urban Forestry

In this episode of Forest Focus, Steve Dunsky of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs talks with Greg McPherson, a Research Forester at the Center for Urban Forest Research in Davis, California, about the work of the Center and his own interest in the trees that make cities and suburbs more livable.

Episode 8: Tribal Relations

In this episode of Forest Focus, Steve Dunsky and John Heil of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs interview Forest Service Regional Tribal Relations Manager Merv George and Michelle Hoaglin, Executive Director of the California Indian Basketweavers Association, about various topics of importance to Native Americans in California, and in particular the relationship between Tribal Governments and the Forest Service.

Episode 7: ARRA

In this episode of Forest Focus, Ann Dunsky, Steve Dunsky and John Heil of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs interview various people involved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Regional Forester Randy Moore, ARRA Program Manager Milt Wingert, Forest Service Civil Engineer Barrett McMurtry, Job Corps Carpentry Instructor Shaun Cushman, Civil Engineering Technician Herman Wendell and others offer a variety of perspectives.

Episode 6: Quincy Library Group

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff interviews experts about a program known as the Herger–Feinstein Quincy Library Group (QLG). The QLG is being implemented over approximately 1.5 million acres across the Lassen and Plumas National Forest and the Sierraville District of the Tahoe National Forest.

Episode 5: Marijuana

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff investigates the issue of marijuana cultivation and eradication on the National Forests in California by interviewing experts in the field from various agencies.

Episode 4: Water

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil and Steve Dunsky of the Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs Staff explore the value of watersheds on the National Forests in California.

Episode 3: Recreation

In this episode of Forest Focus, John Heil and Steve Dunsky of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs explore recreation on the National Forests in California.

Episode 2: Fire Season 2009

In the second episode of Forest Focus, John Heil and John Miller of Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs explore the subject of fire on the National Forests in California.

Episode 1: Ecological Restoration

In this inaugural episode, John Heil and Steve Dunsky of the R5 Public Affairs staff explore the subject of ecological restoration on the National Forests in California.