Feature Stories

The U.S. Capitol Christmas arrives in DC

November 20, 2020 - The Peoples’ Tree is positioned in place on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill. (Photo Credit Tanya Flores, USDA Forest Service)For 50 years now the arrival of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has brought enormous excitement to the… Read more

A picture of a mangrove area with a waterway in the center and thick shrubs along the banks.
Science is Saving the Mangrove Forests

November 20, 2020 - A mangrove forest in the nation of Palau. (USDA Forest Service photo)Mangrove forests along the coastlines in the Asia-Pacific region provide building materials for traditional homes, shelter fish and wildlife, protect communities from tsunamis and typhoons, and store more carbon than any… Read more

A picture of Portland, Oregon with smoke filled air.
Tackling the science behind 2020’s wild season of wildfire

November 5, 2020 -   Labor Day (Sept. 7) 2020 came in with hot, dry, easterly winds that reached hurricane levels. These gusts fanned wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington into record-breaking megafires that threatened suburbs and compromised air quality in cities like Portland Oregon, shown here.… Read more

A logo of the 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
50 Years of Christmas Cheer as a New Tree is Cut for Capitol Hill

November 4, 2020 - Another tradition for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is that every year the host forest helps design a logo to brand and commemorate their gift to the nation’s capital. (USDA Forest Service graphic.)When most people think of the lighting of a national Christmas tree, they are often thinking… Read more

A picture of several bats flying through an evening sky.
Build a bat box home for your flying neighbors this Halloween

October 28, 2020 - Lots of scary legends and incorrect information about bats have led many to be unnecessarily frightened of bats. (USDA Forest Service photo.)Bats are the only mammal with a natural ability to fly. Maneuvering with great elegance and awe-inspiring precision, they can hunt in complete darkness.… Read more

A picture of Susan Loeb weighing a bat.
The flighty science of studying bats

October 27, 2020 - Susan Loeb, a USDA Forest Service research ecologist, weighs a bat in Stumphouse Tunnel, a hibernaculum in northwestern South Carolina that she has been monitoring since 2014. Loeb played a critical role in coordinating the efforts of many different agencies and initiating the North American… Read more

A picture of a several pine trees in a timber stand area.
Harvesting Trees in the Right Place at the Right Time

October 23, 2020 - Harvested and unharvested area of the Zuni Mountain Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration project where Stewardship Agreement authority is being used. (Photo credit: Shawn Martin.)Timber sales are an important part of the work to reduce wildfire risk on your national forests and… Read more

A conceptual picture of a building constructed all with wood.
Mass Timber Momentum Expands Forest Products Markets

October 21, 2020 - Rendering of the Ascent project, in Milwaukee, 19 stories of Cross Laminate Timber over a concrete podium for a total of 25 stories. (Image Credits: Korb and Ascent MKE.)Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is revolutionizing the building industry in the U.S., creating important market-based… Read more

A picture of a female firefighter taking a moment on to herself on a rock.
When the extraordinary becomes the ordinary, the ordinary become extraordinary Forest Service employees in the Pacific Northwest face disaster with resilience, grit

October 16, 2020 - On Sept. 7, 2020, Labor Day, the Pacific Northwest experienced a firestorm of historic proportions. For two days, gusty winds drove dry air from the east, down the west slopes of the Cascade mountains. Wind gusts up to sixty miles per hour collided with record-breaking dry conditions, fanning… Read more

A picture showing several trees with a fire burning just behind them on a mountain ridge.
Trillion Trees: Opportunities to rebuild western forests

October 15, 2020 - Science backed reforestation efforts, may help to plant more resilient forests in areas where environmental conditions are changing. By growing forests in ways to meet the demands of our future environment, tree planting can deliver big resilience dividends.Armed with the best science… Read more

A graphic that show's a visual representation of a stream through a forest and is meant to represent the Waterviz animation tool.
Experimental Forests offer one-of-a-kind remote learning materials

October 8, 2020 - WaterViz is a water cycle visualization and sonification tool combining science, art and music to teach about the water cycle at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. (USDA Forest Service graphic.)In this time of widespread remote learning, USDA Forest Service Experimental… Read more

A picture of a woman standing next to an e-Bike in a grassy field next to a coastline with a sunset or sunrise in the horizon.
Forest Service Seeks a Balanced Approach to Access as Popularity of Electric Bicycles Surge

October 7, 2020 - The gravel popping under the bicycle’s tires had a familiar sound. The trail would soon make an abrupt turn upwards, marking the beginning of a grueling climb up miles of steep terrain. In anticipation, I pressed the button on the bike’s onboard computer, engaging the pedal assist. Immediately the… Read more

A picture showing a person's fingers holding a small piece of squared glass over a green plant leaf.
Transparent Wood Could Be the Window of the Future

October 1, 2020 - Transparent wood research is progressing. Further engineering work is being carried out to lower haze and create a product closer to the transparency of commercial glass. This example shows a recent product produced from researchers at University of Maryland-College Park. (Forest Service Photo… Read more

A portrait picture of Ice the K-9 law enforcement dog.
Don’t tell this heroic dog only cats have nine lives

September 25, 2020 - A dog with honor. Ice, a now retired Forest Service K-9 officer survived many assaults by criminals during his career. Photo USDA Forest Service.When we think of heroic dogs, the fictional collie Lassie and German shepherd Rin-Tin-Tin often come to mind, but life can be more dramatic and… Read more

Explore the Science Behind the Magic of Fall Colors

September 21, 2020 - Fall colors from a terrace of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The Pisgah National Forest is in the background. Photo by Robert Westover.With a pandemic raging around the world, drastically altering so many lives, it’s hard to believe that any good can come from such chaos. But during… Read more

The spectacular night sky of the Superior National Forest’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, recently designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Superior’s wilderness area world-recognized for its starry night sky

September 16, 2020 - The spectacular night sky of the Superior National Forest’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, recently designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of Ethan B. Allen.Stargazers seeking an increasingly rare sight — a nighttime sky free from light pollution and… Read more

Veterans group canoeing at sunset.
Connecting veterans with the lands for which they fought

September 11, 2020 - Veterans group rock climbing. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Outward Bound School.Millions visit America’s public lands every year to have fun and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In fact, spending time in nature can be truly restorative and research shows that nature and… Read more

A field of wildflowers with a pipeline traversing it.
Oil and Gas Rule Changes Make for More Efficient Process

September 2, 2020 - The intent of the regulation revision is to achieve more efficient leasing and permitting processes and clarify the processes between the BLM and Forest Service to better serve potential lessees. (iStockphoto)As a multiple-use agency, the USDA Forest Service works to balance the many uses and… Read more

The Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to improve forest health.
Forest Service Joins Global Virtual Event to Celebrate Key Milestone of Forest Restoration

September 1, 2020 - USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen explains the Forest Service role in the Bonn Challenge on Aug. 2, 2020.   The Lakeview Stewardship Project on the Fremont-Winema National Forest is a great example of collaborative forest landscape restoration work across varying ecosystems and… Read more

: In areas where we have lost forests to fire, the Trillion Trees initiative provides an opportunity to accelerate the renewal or reproduction of forest benefits, like carbon sequestration and clean water, over natural rates.
Trillion Trees

August 28, 2020 - Currently, the USDA Forest Service has opportunities to increase reforestation rates on 1.3 million acres of national forests, including 700,000 acres of tree planting and 600,000 acres of activities to ensure successful natural regeneration.An opaque, autumn haze smothers much of the western… Read more