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New Research Reveals How Critical Forests are to Drinking Water Supply

A picture of a river flowing between a mountainous, forested area.
Feather River, Middle Fork, on Plumas National Forest in California. National forests supply drinking water to almost 90% of the people served by public surface water systems in the West. (USDA Forest Service photo by Tim Palmer.)Access to high-quality water will be a defining feature of the 21st century. Record heat waves and drought are not only…
research, drought, watersheds

How the pandemic drove up the cost of wood products

A picture of a logging truck hauling a truck-load of small diameter logs.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply and demand of forest products and labor, including trucking and transport (USDA photo by Lance Cheung).During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, prices of processed wood products, such as softwood lumber and plywood, nearly quadrupled.  Wholesale prices for plywood increased from $400 to $1500 per thousand…
pandemic, research, forest products, lumber

Learning on the fireline: Fire Tigers of Clemson

A picture showing several students standing in a half-circle so that they can listen to their mentor.
(Adapted from CompassLive) Mentorship is a major part of the program – every student has the opportunity to spend time with experienced fire managers. USDA Forest Service photo by Helen Mohr.The only way to understand the nuances of working a fireline is by being on one. The six-year-old Fire Tigers Program recently took more than 50 Clemson University…
fire, students, forestry, research

Seattle students study heavy metals with the Forest Service

A picture of a large, green moss bunch in a palm of a person's hand.
The moss Orthotrichum lyellii. Because moss doesn’t have roots. it absorbs nutrients – and pollution – through moisture in the air. Students in Seattle, Washington used moss as a screening tool to identify sites with high pollution levels. (USDA Forest Service photo by Sarah Jovan)Air is a critical resource for many living things, including people. USDA…
Air Pollution, research, Air Quality, pacific northwest research station

From Forests to Faucets: Where does your drinking water come from?

A picture of a small waterfall in a forested area.
Watersheds are land areas, also known as basins or drainage areas, where rainfall flows to streams and rivers and then to outlets, like an ocean or bay. National forests and grasslands are home to watersheds that provide clean drinking water for millions of people. Photo credit: Eric Vallery, USDA Forest ServiceStanding on the banks of the Yadkin River…
water, watershed, climate change, research

Knowledge of ‘heirs properties’ issues help families keep, sustain land

A picture of a dark looking cabin nestled deep in a forested area.
There are many hurdles to managing forests located on heirs’ property. Heirs’ property seems to disproportionately affect African Americans but is also found in Appalachia, Hispanic communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and Native American communities. (USDA Forest Service photo by Sarah Farmer)Children often inherit their parents’ homes and land.…
sustain, science, private lands, research