Award-winning Milwaukee partner project builds climate change resilience

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) won multiple awards for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)-funded project that has planted well over 400 trees to buffer an urban neighborhood from the increasingly intense rains and heat of a changing climate.

Research and habitat improvements keep pollinators buzzing on the Hiawatha

Pollinators play a critical role in the plant lifecycle by moving pollen that produces fruits, seeds and young plants. In the Great Lakes region, the loss of insect pollinators has a ripple effect on ecosystems that extends even to the health of the Great Lakes themselves.

2020 Eastern Region Honor Awards Winners Announced

Congratulations to the Eastern Region’s 2020 Honor Awards recipients! The Honor Awards recognize people, partnerships and projects that exemplify the USDA Forest Service’s motto, “Caring for the Land and Serving People.”

Forest Service invests nearly $25M to protect non-federal forests in the East

This spring, the USDA Forest Service announced a $218 million investment in land and water conservation projects throughout the country. Included in this funding was close to $25 million to support Forest Legacy projects in the Eastern Region, collectively protecting nearly 25,000 acres of environmentally significant forests.

2 Smokey Bear recipients call Eastern Region states home

This year, two of the five national Smokey Bear award recipients come from Eastern Region states.

Wildfire and Smoke

As most people know, the Forest Service plays an important role with fire.  This involves both responding to unwanted wildfires and using fire (termed prescribed fire) as a tool reduce unhealthy and unsafe accumulations of vegetation.  Associated with both types of fire is smoke.  While smoke can affect anyone, those most at risk are the young and seniors and those with cardiovascular or respiratory issues. 

National Firewood Workshop to be held online June 9/10 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

An upcoming National Firewood Workshop webinar, hosted through a partnership of North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the USDA Forest Service, will provide information on the latest in firewood processing technology.

Forest Service Collaborates with Pennsylvania on Gypsy Moth Treatment

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) and Forest Service Eastern Region are collaborating to suppress European gypsy moth populations in the Keystone State.

Trees planted along Michigan waterways protect fish populations, provide habitat

More than 17,000 trees are now providing habitat for wildlife, reducing stormwater flooding and protecting fish populations in the Rogue River watershed in western Michigan, funded through a USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant.

Tree planting with climate change in mind

Spring is a great time for planting a tree, but timing is just one of many factors that impact your tree’s chances of living a full and healthy life. There’s a lot you can do to help your tree thrive for decades to come — even in the face of a changing climate.

Michigan DNR, Eastern Region Team Up on Invasive Insect

The Forest Service’s Eastern Region and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forest health programs are working together to track the hemlock woolly adelgid, a harmful invasive insect detected in Michigan and edging closer to national forests there.

Volunteers critical to restoration efforts at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

In Wilmington, Illinois, a grassland rises from the remains of a World War II-era ammunitions site at what is now Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, the largest piece of prairie east of the Mississippi River. Bringing life back to this land has been one of the most ambitious restoration projects in the United States — and volunteers have been critical to its success, every step of the way.

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing on Eastern National Forests

Imagine being encircled by snowflakes as you glide through a trail winding around a national scenic river glistening with a fresh white covering. A picturesque and serene landscape awaits you this winter in Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forests. And with all the recent snow, the Forest’s trails are primed and ready for your visit!

Snowmobiling on Eastern National Forests

From winter camping and snowmobiling, to skiing and dogsledding, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the snow.

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Plants Forest of Hope in Southeastern Wisconsin

Tree Planting During a Pandemic Series, Part 2: When the spring planting season was interrupted by COVID-19, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust — a driving force in conservation and a USDA Forest Service partner — persevered in their project to plant a Forest of Hope that will help protect water quality in the region.

Promoting Environmental Education and Job Training for Detroit Teens

Urban Connections has a long-standing partnership with The Greening of Detroit’s Green Corps. It's an employment opportunity program where high school students learn environmental stewardship, planting, tree maintenance, urban gardening, and practical information about green careers.

Michigan Tree Planting Project Targets Drainageways to Preserve a Watershed

Newly planted trees in Muskegon County will absorb stormwater, prevent flooding and reduce the excess nutrients that enter the Muskegon River Watershed.

Eastern Region Hosting Free webinar Series on Land Use Planning

The USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region, is pleased to announce Changing Landscapes: Land Use Planning Curriculum, a free two-day webinar series on Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21. The Changing Landscapes series focuses on the history of land use planning, policies that direct planning, essential collaboration techniques and how to use regulatory and non-regulatory tools. It is open to anyone interested in the land use planning process.

Grant raises awareness of forests’ connection to New York City’s water

Every day, millions of New York City residents take for granted that clean, abundant water is available with just the turn of a faucet handle. Yet they may not be aware that forests throughout the New York City watershed play a key role in sustaining this invaluable resource.

Winter's bitter chill brings sweet spring

While many of us stay huddled inside during the bitter cold of winter, some intrepid souls venture into the woods to take part in a centuries-old tradition in the northeastern United States. What draws them forth is the need to prepare their sugarbush — a collection of sugar maple trees in one location, ranging from a few trees in the backyard to hundreds of trees in a forest — for the spring maple sap run.

Forest Service builds on 20 years of success with Slow the Spread

In July, the national gypsy moth Slow the Spread (STS) program — a 20-year cooperative effort of the USDA Forest Service and state agencies in the eastern U.S. — treated over 293,000 acres with environmentally safe aerial applications in eight states to protect forests from this invasive insect.

Healing with the land of the Mequon Nature Preserve

For years, visitors have sought refuge from the pressures of work, life and illness in a 444-acre preserve in southeast Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee.

Partner-led Projects Reduce Wildfire Risk in Wisconsin

Managing wildfires in Wisconsin requires a collaborative effort among agencies and communities to reduce the risk to lives and property. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) protects half the state’s lands, and local fire departments protect the other half.

GLRI Funding Supports Cleanup in Lake Ontario Watershed

Lake Ontario is a vital source of drinking water for 9 million people in the United States and Canada. Contaminated groundwater and stormwater runoff that enter Lake Ontario each year add unhealthful contaminants to the water supply.

Milwaukee’s Prescription for Healthy Trees During the Pandemic

Even as the spread of COVID-19 has put many of the City of Milwaukee’s spring and summer programs on hold, some things continue to grow: the city’s trees.

Pandemic Planting: Tips and Tricks for Homeowners

The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us spending considerable time indoors and away from other people to reduce our risk of catching the virus. Still, many recreationists are venturing outdoors to connect with nature. One happy medium for homeowners who want to reconnect with nature is to plant a tree in their yard.

Webinar Series Helps Tribes Manage Emerald Ash Borer Threat

The USDA Forest Service and other agencies are organizing a webinar series for tribal partners in the Eastern Region about the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that threatens ash trees across the U.S. and Canada.

Ellicott Park Planting Project Exceeds Expectations

The 165-acre Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda, New York, was at risk of losing 75% of its existing tree canopy. Without a new generation of trees, green spaces like Ellicott Creek Park were graying.

Valentine’s Day bird-counting event open to citizen-scientists around the world

The Great Backyard Bird Count will take place Friday, Feb. 12, through Monday, Feb. 15. This citizen-science project will help scientists gather information about birds in your local area and their population trends.

Forest Service Celebrates World Wetlands Day

With Feb. 2 designated as #WorldWetlandsDay, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the variety of ecological benefits provided by wetlands — and to recognize how the USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Region works with states, private landowners and other partners across the Northeast and Midwest to enhance, restore and protect wetlands.

Iowa Forester’s Career Inspired by Early Experiences on Family-owned Forestland

The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship program gives forest landowners the planning tools to improve their lands for diversity, wildlife, wood production and other benefits, and it helps them access technical and financial assistance available through other federal programs

Case Studies Offer Insights on Increasing Tree Canopy in Underserved Communities

Underserved communities tend to have fewer trees than other city neighborhoods and may especially benefit from initiatives to increase tree canopy, but the local organizations leading these efforts can face unique challenges. A valuable online resource is available for organizations seeking the best strategies to engage underserved communities in successful tree-planting and stewardship initiatives.

Benefits of Cleveland-area reforestation project reach Lake Erie

Fifteen acres of newly planted trees near Tinker’s Creek in northeastern Ohio are more than a source of shade and scenic beauty. They will also ensure that cleaner water runs through the creek’s 28 winding miles, flows into the Cuyahoga River and ultimately feeds into Lake Erie.

Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership

The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership is a grass-roots, private land forest conservation and economic development partnership in Northwestern Massachusetts.A unique geology, calcareous wetlands, combined with rich northern forests make up a biologically diverse ecosystem.The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service signed a Shared Stewardship Framework in November of 2019.

Plant-eating insect takes a bite out of invasive knotweed

This spring, the USDA Forest Service’s Morgantown Field Office helped launch the nation’s first experimental release of a biocontrol agent — a tiny plant-eating insect — in the fight against invasive knotweed.

NMSFA and USDA FS Strengthen Partnership through Shared Stewardship

On Wednesday, July 15, the USDA Forest Service and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance (NMSFA) signed a Shared Stewardship Agreement, amplifying our commitment to using an all-lands approach to forest management in the Eastern Region. This agreement marks the second Shared Stewardship Agreement signed in the Eastern Region and the first in the country to be signed virtually. The signatories on the agreement were Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Forrest Boe, NMSFA president and Minnesota state forester, who represented the state foresters of 20 states and the District of Columbia. The ceremony took place virtually during the NMSFA summer meeting.

One year later, timber sales on Chequamegon-Nicolet speed blowdown recovery

Following the July 2019 windstorm that resulted in an estimated 286,000 acres of damage across multi-jurisdictional boundaries in northern Wisconsin, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has expedited downed timber removal with an innovative and multi-faceted approach.

Planting Riparian Forest Buffers in the Chesapeake in the Time of COVID-19

Tree Planting During a Pandemic Series, Part 1: The Chesapeake Bay Program has long recognized the value of expanding riparian forest buffers to improve water quality in local waterways. This year, however, the planting season coincided with the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, with proper planning and a little creativity, Chesapeake Bay Program partners have found innovative ways to plant trees while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Little Brown Bats Surviving and Reproducing at Deer Creek Impoundment

The Forest Service’s on-going efforts to help bats are paying off thanks to research and management working together on the Lakewood-Laona Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northeastern Wisconsin.

Spring Recreation in the Eastern Region

Spring is a time of renewal, awakening and adventure. As parts of the Eastern Region are beginning to thaw, other areas are fully embracing spring. They provide the perfect spot for a spring recreation adventure for all ages, all types of outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers!

Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Tribal Memorandum of Understanding

In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, the USDA Forest Service (USFS) would like to highlight a successful 20-year partnership with member Tribes of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). 

Fourth Graders Learn the Art of Maple Sugaring

Making maple syrup involves extracting sap from Maple trees and then boiling it down to get the sweet syrup that many have grown to love. With help of a partnership between USDA Forest Service and Neighborhood House, a busload of enthusiastic fourth-graders from St. Marcus School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were able to get outside and try their hand at making maple syrup.

Growing Leaders and Strengthening Communities in Minnesota

For over 22 years, Urban Roots Minnesota has provided paid internships to youth ages 14-18 on the East Side of St. Paul. Each year, approximately 60 youth develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills through Urban Roots gardening, cooking and conservation programs.

Finding Wellness in the Forest - Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest and Indiana University (IU) Health Bloomington Hospital have a partnership agreement for a “Health and Public Lands” pilot program.  The goals of the program are to provide therapeutic nature-based experiences for community members on National Forest System lands, and strengthen community ties to public lands. 

Eastern Region's Director of Fire and Aviation on Assignment in Australia

As the bushfires continue to burn in Australia, the United States has mobilized fire personnel to assist in suppression efforts. The Eastern Region of the USDA Forest Service has six firefighters currently stationed in Australia, including Steve Miller of Milwaukee, the region’s director of fire and aviation.

Smokey’s Sensations Receives Toastmasters International Award

WISCONSIN — Smokey’s Sensations, a Toastmasters International club at the Eastern Region’s regional office in Milwaukee, has for the first time achieved the President’s Distinguished Club level of recognition.

How the Forest Service Monitors Air Quality During Wildland Fires

Air Quality Awareness Week raises mindfulness about the importance of air quality issues. This year, the Forest Service is proud to feature one area where air resource management is essential - wildland firefighting.

National Forests & the Great Lakes Provide Abundant Clean water

In April, the Forest Service highlights how managing healthy forests helps provide clean water.

2017 Eastern Region & Northeastern Area Honor Awards

Employees and partners from across the Eastern Region and Northeastern Area gathered last week for the annual Honor Awards program. Held in the Regional Office in Milwaukee, and at Forest Service units across the east, the Honor Awards recognize those that exemplify the core Forest Service value of “Caring for the Land & Serving People.” The Eastern Region/Northeastern Area Leadership Team gathered in Milwaukee to meet with employees, speak with honorees, and celebrate partners both in person and virtually through video conferencing.

Where to Hunt on National Forests

The Eastern Region of the Forest Service offers hunting opportunities ranging from small game, waterfowl, upland birds, to deer.

National Wildflower Week 2017

In celebration of National Wildflower Week, May 21-27, 2017, we invite you to visit these lovely gems. A field of wildflowers is one of the most beautiful scenes you can experience in nature!

Hooked on National Forests Fishing Derbies

While the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) and the Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF) are in two separate states, they have one thing in common – they both offer wonderful fishing opportunities to local youth and the public at large

Drone Collects Information to Benefit Great Lakes

A unique project between the U.S. Forest Service and Michigan Technological University (MTech) is using an adaptive management approach to steward the land. It involves a series of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or “drone” flights over the Hiawatha National Forest.

National Volunteer Week 2017

As part of National Volunteer Week, the Forest Service is honored to recognize the spectacular volunteers that dedicate time and energy to essential project work on national forests. In 2016, 6,344 individual volunteers in the Eastern Region contributed 227,025 total hours to projects that restored watersheds, improved recreation areas, improved wildlife and fisheries habitat, and restored historic structures.

National Trails Day 2016

What better way to celebrate National Trails Day on June 4 then exploring this or one of many other amazing trails in the Eastern Region.

Earth Day 2016 Events

In honor of Earth Day April 22, 2016, get outdoors, welcome spring & connect with nature! The Forest Service celebrates Earth Day in a variety of ways, from pulling weeds and planting trees to educating young people about the world around them. We invite you to join us in the Eastern Region as we give back to this great planet that gives us so much!

National Volunteer Week 2016

As part of National Volunteer Week, the Forest Service is honored to recognize the spectacular volunteers that dedicate time and energy to essential project work on national forests.

Cabins Near Ski Trails and Other Winter Activities

A number of other forests in the Eastern Region have cabins open during the winter season, conveniently located near ski or snowmobile trails.

Where to Ice Fish on Eastern National Forests

Our forests contain more than 962,000 acres of lakes and more than 15,000 miles of streams - 64 percent of which are trout waters. 

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. by Volunteering on National Day of Service

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, 26 U.S. Forest Service employees in Milwaukee participated in National Day of Service on Jan. 21, 2016. The employees volunteered at three local nonprofit organizations, St. John’s Cathedral Shelter, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, and the Urban Ecology Center.

Fall's Kaleidoscope of Color on the Hoosier National Forest

Nestled in the hills of southern Indiana, the Hoosier National Forest showcases the spectacular colors of a diverse central hardwood region. Camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking and local festivals are all part of the fun of the Hoosier in the fall!

Calendar of Events

List of events happening on the Eastern National Forests.

Enjoy Winter Activities Before the Snow Melts

March is typically winter’s last hurrah – your chance to enjoy some wonderful winter recreation opportunities before the final snow melts. 

International Day of Forests

March 21, the Forest Service joins the United Nation to celebrate the importance of forests and trees in our lives as part of International Day of Forests

Trading Spaces

An Our Global Kids group from Detroit traded their city lights and busy streets for an adventure on the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Urban Connections Program organized this trip help underserved communities get involved in forest management.

Eastern Region Waters

The Eastern Region has 2 million acres of wetlands, 15 miles of streams and 10,000 lakes that provide clean drinking water, healthy wildlife habitat and special places to recreate.

Happy Birthday Gifford Pinchot

August 11 marks the birthday of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the US Forest Service (1905-1910).

National Moth Week

Imagine wandering through a botanical garden in the early evening. You catch a glimpse of beautiful lime green wings reflecting the moon’s light while fluttering from flower to flower. Those lime green wings belong to what some consider the most beautiful insect – the Luna moth. [FULL ARTICLE]

Vets Helping Vets - Sandra Gonzalez

U.S. Air Force Reserves Senior Master Sergeant Sandra Gonzalez offers job advice to veterans.

Minnesota Students Make Ornaments for 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree

Chippewa Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz announced that next year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will come from the Chippewa National Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in north central Minnesota.

Amy Mullins Talks Timber, Family, & Passion

Introducing our Woman of Character, Courage and Commitment series. Amy has been a part of the timber industry for the past 20 years. We caught up with her to shed some light on being a woman in a male-dominated industry and shares some pearls of wisdom.

Leonyce Moses Talks New Jobs, Role Models and Networking

Part Two of our Woman of Character, Courage and Commitment series. Though she’s only been a permanent Forest Service employee for a month, Contract Specialist Leonyce has hit the ground running.

Gala Goldsmith Talks Faith, Mentoring and Career Advice

As a District Ranger on the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio, Gala Goldsmith is never bored. Every day presents new challenges and opportunities, and she enjoys every minute of it! 

First-Time Ice Fishing

The Eastern Region has partnered with the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) since 2009 to support "Future Angler Events" during the open water season. 

Vets Helping Vets - David Melancon

Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant David Melancon offers job advice to veterans.

Hutton Fisheries Scholar - Odell Chalmers

Odell Chalmers, a recent graduate of Bradley Tech High School in Milwaukee, was selected by the American Fisheries Society as a 2014 Hutton Fish Biologist.

Remember 9-11-01

Firefighters placing an American flag on the rubble that was once the World Trade Center is an image burned into the minds of the American people. Sept. 11 is a time to reflect on those who bravely stepped up to help in an extreme time of crisis in American history.

Honoring Veterans' Contributions to the Country and Land

Along with the Nation, the U.S. Forest Service would like to honor and thank all who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces in observance of Veterans Day.

Fire Safety on the 4th of July

Happy Independence Day! We hope that whatever you do to celebrate – do it safely. That includes camping on your national forests. One very important reminder is fire safety. Remember what Smokey Bear says “only you can prevent wildfires!”

Shawnee National Forest Mobile Tour

Have you ever taken the audio tour at an art museum? Remember how cool and cultured you feel after learning the history and background of the exhibits? Imagine being able to do that outdoors – learning about nature’s masterpieces! 

New Learning Tool Helps People Understand Climate Change

Climate change will impact everything on the planet, and it is the responsibility of every person to become knowledgeable about it in order to think and act in a more conscientious manner.

Volunteers needed to preserve and maintain our nation’s history

Summer offers opportunities for cook outs, camping and other outdoor fun, but with the U.S. Forest Service and Historicorps you can also spend a week preserving a piece of our nation’s history. This summer there are several opportunities to assist three of the National Forests in the Eastern Region. The Huron-Manistee, Chequamegon-Nicolet and Hiawatha National Forests are partnering with HistoriCorps and Passport in Time to preserve and rehabilitate historic structures at the Chittenden Nursery in Michigan, Mather-Klauer Lodge in Michigan, and Forest Lodge in Wisconsin.

Preservation 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 signed by President Johnson (amended in 2014). Passage of the Act was a watershed event that marked a fundamental shift in how Americans and the federal government regarded the role of historic preservation in modern life. The Act established the legal framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes and archeology.

The Eastern Region is Aflutter!

In celebration of National Pollinator’s Week, June 17-23, 2019, we invite you to come and visit beautiful gems called Native Plant and Pollinator gardens currently in bloom throughout the Eastern Region.

Meet One of Our Tribal Relations Specialists

We recently sat down with Marla Striped Face Collins for a chat about her new position with the Forest Service, her cultural background and Native American & Alaskan Indian Heritage Month.

Preparing Urban Forests in the Twin Cities for Climate Change

The U.S. Forest Service was thrilled to partner with Minnesota natural resource agencies to host this workshop and share strategies that have proven effective to adapting to climate change on our national forests, as well as strategies for urban forests.

Mitigating Wildfire

Wildfire preparedness measures are already underway for the 2019 season in the Eastern Region.

Building Green Bat Boxes

Forest Service employees from the Eastern Regional Office in Milwaukee completed 18 “green” bat houses that will be sent to national forests to provide a safe haven for bats this summer.

Women in the Forest Service: Tribal Liaison Jen Youngblood

In the fifth article of our Women in Forest Service series in honor of Women’s History Month, we hear from Jen Youngblood, Tribal Liaison to College of Menominee Nation and (Acting) Regional Tribal Relations Specialist.

Women in the Forest Service: Environmental Coordinator Leesha Howard McCauley

In the fourth article of our Women in Forest Service series in honor of Women’s History Month, we hear from Leesha Howard-McCauley, Environmental Coordinator for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Women in the Forest Service: Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson

In the second of our Women in Forest Service series in honor of Women’s History Month, we hear from Kathleen Atkinson, Regional Forester of the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service.

Women in the Forest Service: Biologist Katrina Schultes

In the first of our Women in Forest Service series in honor of Women’s History Month, we hear from Katrina Schultes, a biologist with the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2017

As part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 27-March 3, 2017), the Forest Service celebrates one solution to the prevention, detection and removal of invasive plants: Cooperative Weed Management Areas.