Feature Stories

A picture of a person snowshoeing side hill on a snow covered mountain.
2018 Share the Experience winning photo showcases adventure on Bridger-Teton National Forest

June 3, 2019 - Ching Fu’s love of the outdoors took her to the backcountry of the Bridge-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. That snowboarding trip also propelled her to first place in the 2018 Share the Experience photo contest. Ching Fu, an outdoors enthusiast and blogger, snapped this photo on the Bridge-… Read more

A picture of output from processing of terrestrial laser scanning data, representing an important fuel characteristic “surface area” as illustrated by the different colors.
New 3D fuel modeling helps predict fire behavior

May 31, 2019 - New 3D fuel modeling techniques help land managers predict future fire behavior. Here, Louise Loudermilk (right) and Christie Hawley (left) collect 3D fuels in the field. Photo courtesy: Susan Prichard, University of Washington.Land managers have a new tool in their firefighting arsenals that… Read more

A picture showing a stand of mature longleaf pine forests.
Restoring longleaf pine on the Santee Experimental Forest: Shared Stewardship in action

May 21, 2019 - Mature longleaf pine forests provide shelter and food sources for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Nest cavity trees on the Santee Experimental Forest will be preserved, along with buffers of forage habitat. (USDA Forest Service photo by Julie Arnold.)In 1989, South Carolina’s… Read more

Nichols Scholz and Patrick Legg, Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, pose for a portrait after receiving the USDA Unsung Hero Award, Washington D.C
‘Unsung Heroes’ help find infant left deep in the woods

May 15, 2019 - Nichols Scholz and Patrick Legg, Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, pose for a portrait after receiving the USDA Unsung Hero Award, Washington D.C. (USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo)Forest Service law enforcement officers Nicholas Scholz and Patrick Legg helped find the… Read more

How Fire-Adapted Communities are Paying Off

May 9, 2019 - A 2012 lightning caused fire near Grand Coulee Dam in Washington that consumed more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of over 1,500 people but destroyed no homes. A federal coordinated fire response with the Colville Confederated Tribes, WA-DNR and County Fire is credited with no loss of… Read more

Seize the daisies: Go see wildflowers before they’re gone

May 6, 2019 - Wildflowers in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. USDA photo by Preston Keres.As spring literally blossoms across the nation, the brilliant colors of wildflowers—their reds, oranges, blues and yellows—splash across the landscape from wildlands to city parks to manicured lawns. In… Read more

Pardon our smoke

May 1, 2019 - Air quality impacts from wildfires are now the highest air pollution exposure faced by the American public. (USDA Forest Service photo.)Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. Air quality impacts from wildfires have become significant health events and are now, in fact, the greatest source of air… Read more

What it takes to bring back the near mythical American chestnut trees

April 29, 2019 - This picture, taken in the mid- to late 19th century, gives an idea of just how large and profuse the American chestnut tree was in Eastern U.S. forests before being nearly completely wiped out by a fungus from Asia. Ranging from Maine to Georgia, the American chestnut tree was counted in the… Read more

The state of the forest

April 22, 2019 - The Forest Resources report found that U.S. forest area – including lands covered by forest as well as the small woody species that grow in arid regions – has plateaued at just over 800 million acres. Forest Service photo by Kari Greer.The United States forest products industry accounts for… Read more

New science framework provides basis for conservation and restoration of sagebrush

April 16, 2019 - “Resilience” is the ability to recover from change, or when you think about landscapes, the ability to recover from disturbances like wildfires. A new model takes the idea of resilience and applies it to the natural environment, specifically, to sagebrush. This resilience model is one of the core… Read more

Tree Rings tell the history of fire and forest health

April 12, 2019 - Fire exclusion in the 20th century led to abrupt
shifts in tree abundance and species composition. (Photo by Kit O’Connor.)Why are Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists sampling tree rings in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeast Arizona?… Read more

Why are big Canadian cats and recreationists being tracked by GPS?

April 8, 2019 - The Canada Lynx (USDA Forest Service Photo.)Canada Lynx, hikers, and snowmobile enthusiasts can co-exist on national forests, according to a conclusion reached by USDA Forest Service researchers who published the first ever… Read more

March 21 is the International Day of Forests

March 21, 2019 - This week the U.S. Forest Service commemorates International Day of Forests and its 2019 theme Forests and Education with the 75th birthday of the iconic forest educator,… Read more

Sustainability Success: Partnership diverts waste from landfills and helps animals

March 11, 2019 - Enrichment is essential for all animals. For animals housed in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries, enrichment helps stimulate an animal’s senses by mimicking what they would experience in the wild. Hose2Habitat, a nonprofit based in Maryland,… Read more

Serving a legacy of conservation

March 1, 2019 - Arthur Carhart was just 11 years old when he penned his first essay on the Downey Woodpecker for the once popular magazine Women’s Home Companion. Over the next several years, Carhart would achieve a series of firsts. He was the first to graduate Iowa State College with a Bachelor of Science… Read more

Did the polar vortex and its freezing temperatures wipe out the Emerald Ash Borer?

February 28, 2019 - With some news stories suggesting that a majority of invasive species across the United States have been greatly reduced in numbers because of rare frigid temperature this winter it is understandable that some folks might think the battle of the invasive is close to being won. That assumption… Read more

Making Forests Stronger through Active Management

February 22, 2019 - For years, catastrophic wildfires have threatened forests throughout the country. Wildfires have increased in both size and severity, and with them the risks to communities, natural resources, and firefighter safety. Trees, grass, and shrubs, whether in vast wilderness areas or in the landscaping… Read more

World-class Winter Sports on Your National Forest

February 8, 2019 - Americans hit the slopes about 57 million times a year, and when they go, they spend billions of dollars. The USDA Forest Service plays a role in this industry—a big one. The National Forest System is home to 122 ski resorts. That’s just a quarter of the total across the U.S. Despite this, nearly… Read more

Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday to be celebrated in Parades and Parties all over the U.S.

February 4, 2019 - There are icons and then there is Smokey Bear. Iconic mascots and images come and go but Smokey and his one clear message “Only you can prevent wildfires” has stood the test of time—75 years to be exact. Smokey, who has never given an interview, has… Read more

Private forests, public benefits

December 21, 2018 - Privately-owned forests provide water, recreational opportunities, timber and other forest products, as well as habitat for fish and wildlife. However, as forests become fragmented by roads or converted to development, the benefits they provide can be compromised or lost altogether. Now a new… Read more