Feature Stories

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. (Photo Credit… 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


A picture from a terrace of the Biltmore Estate looking out over a forest that is starting to change to it's fall colors.
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


A honey bee collecting pollen from a willow shrub in an agroforestry practice.
Promoting Pollinators with Agroforestry

August 21, 2020 - Diagram illustrating typical functions that a generic agroforestry practice can provide to pollinators.  Plant pollination by animals is critical for healthy ecosystems and an estimated 85% of the world’s flowering plants depend on animals, mostly insects, like bees, for pollination. In fact,… Read more


A screnic picture from on top of Mt. Lemmon looking out across a vast landscape in the distance and a fuel break in the foreground.
Shared Stewardship Project Protects Mountaintop Village

August 13, 2020 - Fuel break looking northeast toward village of Summerhaven atop Mt. Lemmon. (Photo Credit: Heidi Schewel)Just outside of Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona, the mountaintop village of Summerhaven can breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks… Read more


A picture of a couple dogs, one standing on a wooden fence, overlooking sheep corralled up.
Honoring the History and Value of Grazing on the National Forests and Grasslands

August 7, 2020 - Sheep grazing on the Boise National Forest Photo/USDA Forest ServiceDomestic livestock have been grazing on western landscapes for centuries. The USDA Forest Service has worked alongside farmers and ranchers to manage… Read more


A picture of Emerald ash borer larvae
How Electronic Noses Find Emerald Ash Borers

July 31, 2020 - Wilson used a dual technology e-nose system for the laboratory component of the study. Although it might look like a bread-maker, the device is an incredibly powerful research tool. (Photo Credit: Dan Wilson, USDA Forest Service)Electronic noses, specialized machines that can be hand-held… Read more


A picture showing several cattle grazing at sunset on public lands in Malheur County, Oregon, the Steens Mountains are in the distance.
Monitoring tool assists ranchers and wildland managers facing drought

July 30, 2020 - The Huachuca Mountains located in the Coronado National Forest are an example of the rangelands found in southern Arizona. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service)Drought can be a serious game changer for rangeland, wildlife, and wildland fire managers. America’s 662 million acres of public… Read more


The North Yuba Forest Partnership plans to use a Forest Resilience Bond to finance forest restoration across the 275,000 acre North Yuba River watershed.
Innovative Finance Model Accelerates Forest Restoration

July 10, 2020 - The Forest Resilience Bond enables private capital to cover the upfront costs of implementing forest health treatments. North Yuba Forest Partnership Photo/Alex BoeschThe USDA Forest Service manages 193 million acres of… Read more


The Be Outdoor Safe awareness campaign is focused on being safe during Covid-19 and especially on wildland fire prevention.
Enjoying the great outdoors safely

July 2, 2020 - The Be Outdoor Safe awareness campaign is focused on being safe during Covid-19 and especially on wildland fire prevention. (Ad Council graphic used by permission.)With safety on the minds of so many, the USDA Forest Service, the… Read more


The Common Deer Tick
Ticks Are Thriving Across the Country, What Gives?

July 1, 2020 - The Common Deer Tick. Photo/Center for Disease Control and PreventionWith the snap of twigs and the crashing of brush, I broke loose from the tree line and made my way onto the Forest Service road. Like many locals, I had spent the afternoon with a fishing pole in hand, chasing wild Maine… Read more


A plowed field adjacent to the multifunctional riparian forest buffer, planted with USDA Forest Service support, at the Catawba Sustainability Center managed by Virginia Tech.
Trees and Shrubs Protect Crops and Generate Income for Farmers

June 25, 2020 - A plowed field adjacent to the multifunctional riparian forest buffer, planted with USDA Forest Service support, at the Catawba Sustainability Center managed by Virginia Tech. Photo/Virginia Tech.Across the United States, farmers are taking innovative approaches to foster environmental… Read more


Tracking the ways in which the U.S. land base changes over time is an important objective of the RPA Assessment.  One example is the Bridger Teton National Forest, where land cover has changed over the last few decades.
New Report Compares Gains in Forest Land Use with Losses in Forest Cover

June 24, 2020 - Tracking the ways in which the U.S. land base changes over time is an important objective of the RPA Assessment. One example is the Bridger Teton National Forest, where land cover has changed over the last few decades. Photo/Forest ServiceEvery 10 years, the USDA … Read more


Brain Gasper (right) and Summer Dunn (left) a Data Collection Team Leader with the USDA Forest Service’s FIA mapping” out a different condition--the term used when different growing conditions exist that result in site quality differences. These conditions need to be identified so that all estimates of growth and site attributes are lumped in with the same category of condition.
Tree Census and a Wealth of Public Data

June 3, 2020 - Summer Dunn, a data collection team leader with FIA, currently oversees the data collection efforts of approximately 70 crewmembers across Washington, Oregon and California. Forest Service Photo/Summer DunnAs our country sets out on the monumental task of conducting the U.S. census, the… Read more


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