Feature Stories

A picture of a firefighter using a drone with a wildfire nearby.
Unique Forest Service program saves money and lives with innovative technology

January 6, 2021 - Test flight of an unmanned aerial system used to ignite strategic backfires during wildfire suppression activities in 2018. Photo credit: Shawn Steber, National Technology and Development Program.Gifford Pinchot, founding father of the USDA Forest Service, revolutionized American forestry in… Read more

A picture of Lindsey Bell.
Arizona High School Senior Wins International Junior Foresters Competition

December 28, 2020 - Lindsey Bell, a high school senior from Arizona, was unanimously chosen as the winner of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency’s 17th Annual International Junior Foresters Competition. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Bell.When Lindsey Bell started high school at Trivium Preparatory Academy in… Read more

A picture of a developed campground site with several recreational vehicles seen parked at campsites.
Common Interests Potential Solution to Deferred Maintenance

December 22, 2020 - Campgrounds and recreation facilities on the Inyo National Forest need improvement due to aging and undermaintained infrastructure. The National Forest has 93 campgrounds in need of various levels of repair. (USDA Forest Service photo)Editor’s Note: This blog is the second of a series… Read more

A 1933 Forest Service Bulletin front page that has Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and everyone on it.
Relax – We have last-minute stocking stuffers, gift ideas

December 16, 2020 - This America the Beautiful annual pass is good for one full year from the date of purchase, and can be that special gift that keeps giving.Although room under the Christmas tree has become crowded and the stockings increasingly stuffed, there's one gift that might be the largest in the world,… Read more

A picture of two kids examining water from the bank of a small creek or pond.
Stepping outside the classroom to learn lessons for life

December 9, 2020 - The Forest Service has moved its holiday tree permit sales to Recreation.gov as an added convenience for visitors. To obtain a free holiday tree permit, visit Recreation.gov and apply using your Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher. (USDA Forest Service photo)Stop by any trailhead or boat landing… Read more

A picture of smoke rising up in several locations on a mountain side.
Innovative Finance for National Forests Grant Program Fosters New Ideas, Partnerships

December 7, 2020 - Smoke rises over the densely packed Umpqua National Forest in Oregon. (Forest Service photo by Kari Greer)The USDA Forest Service is charged with caring for 193 million acres of the nation’s forests and grasslands and… Read more

A picture of the U.S. Capitol with the Capitol Christmas Tree lit infront at dusk.
A Christmas Story Worth Telling

December 2, 2020 - ​ This year the nation viewed the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree virtually. (USDA Forest Service Photo)Usually when an event as wonderful as the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has its 50th anniversary, the events… Read more

A picture showing a helicopter, hovering in the air, just off the side of a hill and two employees that had just been dropped off.
A Role Model for Federal Accountability: The FIA Annual Business Report

November 25, 2020 - Helicopter-dropped crew (Dan Durfee and Ian Kottke) measuring forest plots in Kupreanof Island, Coastal AlaskaFor nearly 100 years, the USDA Forest Service has been building the world’s largest continuous body of data on… Read more

A picture of an extremely large inflated Smokey Bear balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
When Bears Fly

November 25, 2020 - This bear can fly. The new Smokey Bear balloon debuted in last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (USDA Forest Service photo)Smokey Bear will make an appearance again in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The star of the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S.… Read more

A picture of the U.S. Capitol in the background and the Capitol Christmas Tree being errected and placed in front.
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