Feature Stories

A picture, taken at night, showing the Milky Way over Cathedral Rock, seen from the Cathedral Rock Trailhead on Back O' Beyond Road, Coconino National Forest, Sedona, Arizona
Let the stars be your fireworks for a safe Fourth of July

July 3, 2019 - Stars seem to rise above towering trees on the Payette National Forest in Idaho. Stargazing is nature’s way to help you celebrate the Fourth of July. (Photo courtesy Sam Broadway)The country’s annual celebration of its independence is not complete without family gatherings, picnics, parades,… Read more

Wildfires in all seasons?

June 26, 2019 - In recent decades the number, severity and overall size of wildfires has increased across much of the U.S. In fact, the 2018 wildfire season in California recorded the largest fire in acres burned, most destructive fire in property loss and deadliest fires in the state’s history. But for many… Read more

A picture of a hiker and biker with the words Explore the Visitor Map and the picture of a mobile app. screen showing the Visitor Map.
Millions of acres in the palm of your hand

June 19, 2019 - How many times have you been out for a weekend drive or on a trip and decided to visit a national forest or grassland only to discover that you have no idea how to get to the areas where you can have the most fun? Well, problem solved—and just in time for… Read more

A picture of forested moutains with smoke rising up through the tree tops. Smoke is wide-spread throughout the mountains.
New research confirms that today’s wildfires moderate future fires

June 13, 2019 - Based on past fire history maps, like this one showing ignition locations in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area in Idaho and Montana, Forest Service researchers found that past wildland fires regulated the ignition and spread of later wildfires. USDA Forest Service image.The Forest Service… Read more

A picture of Tongass River Rangers speaking with a sport fishing guide while fishermen try to catch coho salmon in the Situk River of Yakutat, Alaska.
Tight fishing lines on Tongass National Forest

June 7, 2019 - Gravelly Creek – More than 280 registered youth and a total of 500 people attended the 25th Annual Kids Fishing Day "Jim Beard Memorial" EventNational Fishing and Boating Week is held every year to recognize the importance of recreational boating and fishing to enthusiasts, their friends and… Read more

A picture of Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glen Casamassa speaking at the announcement event for the Wild and Scenic River stamp series in Bend, Oregon, May 21, 2019.
New stamp series recognizes America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers

June 7, 2019 - These new forever stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service feature several of the Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the Forest Service.The National Wild and Scenic River System spans more than 13,000 miles of the United States through landscapes as diverse… Read more

The once ‘living’ Smokey Bear is remembered at the National Zoo

June 5, 2019 - Smokey Bear stands next to his statue outside the new Smokey Bear exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The Smokey Bear Zone celebrates 75 years of preventing wildfires. The exhibit highlights include an iconic Smokey statue, vintage posters and photographs of the real Smokey Bear. (USDA… Read more

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