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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Biological and Physical Resources



to the Forest Service - Biological and Physical Resources program web site. From improving air quality to enhancing streams and uplands for drinking water and wildlife in your National Forests & Grasslands, our programs cover a wide variety of topics and span the country. Working with partners across the nation we provide technical expertise, support, and coordination for the Forest Service’s Regional Offices, Forests, and Districts in the stewardship of water, fish, wildlife, air, and endangered species within the watersheds of the National Forest System. Given the breadth of our work there is a lot to explore! Browse to learn about programs such as experiencing stream environments through freshwater snorkeling; implementing the Weather Information Management System to provide local data for fire danger and flooding; and protecting life, property, and critical natural and cultural resources after fires through the Burned Area Emergency Response program. We look forward to hearing from you!

Neighbors & Nature – Biological and Physical Resources ... and you.
Be safe & kind.
Pick up trash and haul it out.

Ideas for joining friends in nature… & schedule events in your September, October, November, and December calendar!

  • #BatWeek :: We need bats & they need us - Celebrate :: October 24 - 31, 2021
  • Calendar: Hispanic Heritage Month :: September 15 – October 15, 2021
  • Native American Heritage Month :: November
  • Wildlife Conservation Day :: December 4, 2021
  • World Soil Day :: December 5, 2021
  • Audubon Christmas Bird Count :: December 14 – January 5, 2021
  • Check out our terrific program NatureWatch!
  • New Publications

  • Linda Geiser, PhD (National Air Program Leader) of our Biological & Physical Resources staff, recently co-authored Lichen-based critical loads for deposition of nitrogen and sulfur in US forests 2021 Sep 21;291:118187. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118187.
    Linda Geiser; Heather Root; Robert J. Smith; Sarah Jovan; Larry St. Clair; Karen Dillman
    Abstract of the Abstract: Recent publication was more than 20 years in the making! It sets broadly protective thresholds (critical loads) for air pollution in US forests, specifically related to the deposition of fertilizing and acidifying air pollutants. We also learned relatively small reductions in air pollutants, like nitrogen and sulfur oxides and ammonia, can create significant climate resilience. Critical loads are thresholds of atmospheric deposition below which harmful ecological effects do not occur. Because lichens are sensitive to atmospheric deposition, lichen-based critical loads can foreshadow changes of other forest processes.
  • David Merritt, PhD (Riparian Ecologist) and Lindsay Reynolds, PhD (Riparian Ecologist) of our National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center, recently co-authored a paper with colleagues, Prepare river ecosystems for an uncertain future; As the climate warms, we can’t restore waterways to pristine condition, but models can predict potential changes ... in the journal Nature about globally imperiled rivers and a call to action for river scientists worldwide. Dr. Merritt summarizes, "We present a four step plan toward reshaping the kind of science that we are doing to protect rivers and ideas for engaging the public in recognizing their functions and services to society and steps toward their conservation and recovery. It is a compelling article and has been picked up by news outlets on the West coast and in New Zealand." Oregon State University Press Release
  • Wildlife & Rise to the Future Natural Resource Award Winners!

    Note: The award winners are recognized at various events in winter and spring. The Joint FS and BLM awards bear the year they are awarded.

    Each year the USDA Forest Service recognizes outstanding individual and group achievements by natural resource professionals in the Forest Service, as well as significant partner contributions to wildlife, fish and native plant conservation. We are pleased to announce the recipients! Fall is our "Call for Nomination" season. Join in the celebration of a job well done.

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