Feature Stories

Thriving Forests Mean Thriving Communities

October 1, 2018 - “From birth to death, natural resources, transformed for human use, feed, clothe, shelter, and transport us. Upon them we depend for every material necessity, comfort, convenience, and protection in our lives. Without abundant resources prosperity is out of reach.” Gifford Pinchot, first chief of… Read more

25 Years of National Public Lands Day

September 24, 2018 - For 25 years, National Public Lands Day has brought together thousands of people to donate their time, talent, and passion to support America’s public lands. It’s celebrated the fourth Saturday of September, but volunteer events and celebrations are… Read more

Projecting lumber demand in the U.S. and abroad

September 7, 2018 - “Lumber and economic growth are tightly connected,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “At a certain rate of GDP growth, you get a certain path of lumber consumption.” Prestemon recently led a study that projects softwood lumber demand under different economic growth scenarios… Read more

The people in national wildland fire management are the best in the world

August 31, 2018 - Boise, Idaho is famous among college football fans for the blue turf on the Boise State University Broncos’ field. But in wildland fire management circles, the city is just as well-known as home of the National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC. In fact, NIFC is… Read more

Where there’s fire there’s smoke and it’s bad for your health

August 24, 2018 - Deadly and destructive wildland fires consuming so much of the West, from California all the way to British Columbia, are not only affecting those who have had to flee but those who are downwind of these massive infernos. Smoke from this year’s summer wildfires have delayed air traffic in the… Read more

Speaking for Turtles - Working to Increase Turtle Populations

August 20, 2018 - Located in northern Wisconsin, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has been called home by many species of turtles. The wood turtle, which resides in this forest, is classified as a Species of… Read more

How the Forest Service restores public lands now and in the future

August 10, 2018 - More than 80 million acres of national forests are at risk from insect infestations, the impacts of prolonged drought, and the too frequent devastation caused by catastrophic wildfire. And the USDA Forest Service has a responsibility to the American public to… Read more

Weeds, trees, and property lines and good neighbors

August 3, 2018 - I once lived in a home where fighting lawn weeds seemed a never-ending task. This was a new housing development. Pickets tied with bits of pink ribbon still clearly showed where our property began and ended, and they were handy for helping me determine where I could put in my fence and where I… Read more

Before these caterpillars become moths, they unite to destroy forests

July 23, 2018 - A caterpillar that’s been rarely observed in the wild is about to join with another species of inch worms to wreak destruction upon two national forests in New Mexico. The culprit, called Janet’s looper… Read more

Forest Service trails are where adventures begin

July 20, 2018 - Journeys can lead us to destinations of breathtaking beauty, test our courage, and challenge the limits of our endurance. It all starts with your first step on a wilderness trail. The USDA Forest Service offers lots of opportunities for this type of adventure.… Read more

Illegal Marijuana Sites Can’t Hide from Science

July 11, 2018 -
The problem of illegal marijuana farms on national forests is, pardon the pun, growing. Although marijuana is now legal in California and other parts of the U.S., illegal marijuana growing is still a billion dollar industry with international tentacles. “Twenty years ago the people who… Read more

Cooperative Forestry Act Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Private Forest Owners

June 29, 2018 - When most people think of forested lands in our country what comes to mind are public wild lands like the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon or the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. But the reality is most forests in America, nearly sixty percent… Read more

Proactive Fuel Breaks Protect Nearly $1 Billion in Homes, Infrastructure During Colorado Wildfire

June 29, 2018 -
When the Buffalo Fire sparked on the White River National Forest on June 12, the flames stopped short of nearly 1,400 residences near Silverthorne, Colorado. But, it wasn’t just the air support from firefighting helicopters and… Read more

Want to help bees? Take a break from lawn mowing

June 20, 2018 - Across the globe, native bee species are having trouble. Populations of bees have experienced severe declines that are largely attributed to the loss of habitat. If you have a lawn, you may be able to reverse this trend: All you have to do is be a little lazy and, depending on your neighborhood,… Read more

Private Investment Will Jump Start Rural Economy

June 15, 2018 - Ringed by miles of abandoned coal mines, the Wayne National Forest is surrounded by some of the most economically distressed communities in southern Ohio. A unique partnership with private investors, local leaders, a university, and nonprofit partners is… Read more

Our Drinking Water and Forest Service Research

June 7, 2018 - Behind every drop of water from the tap is an entire forest ecosystem. And while it’s easy to take drinking water for granted, you might be surprised to learn that the nation’s largest single source of waterRead more

Death of Bald Eagle Yields Life Lessons for West Virginia Students

June 1, 2018 - Most educators agree that experiential learning makes a more lasting impression on students than classroom lectures. It’s the reason why Cindy Bryant and Greg Phillips, both teachers from Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg, WV, put in the hard work to organize an overnight field trip for… Read more

A living memorial to mitigate wildfire risk

May 25, 2018 - On June 30, 2013, the Yarnell Hill Fire – the deadliest U.S. wildfire in 80 years – broke out in Arizona’s Yavapai County, killing 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shot firefighters. Since then, local residents and land managers have taken steps… Read more

The Many Benefits of Energy Development on Forest Service Lands

May 21, 2018 - When you think of energy and mineral production, you don’t normally think about the USDA Forest Service. Green mountainsides, birch tree canopies, or pine-lined roadways may come to mind. But, underneath those forests and grasslands lies a wealth of energy and mineral resources. These mineral and… Read more

2018 Predicted to be Challenging Wildfire Year

May 11, 2018 - Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen briefed members of Congress yesterday on… Read more