A prescribed burn conducted in the Fishlake National Forest, Utah, in 2020. USDA Forest Service photo by Roger Ottmar.
Led by scientists Roger Ottmar and Sim Larkin with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) is a large-scale, multiagency effort designed to identify how fuels, fire behavior, fire energy, and meteorolog
Seasonal PhenoCam images of the Prairie Peninsula National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) site, Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas. These grass growth and senescence changes are captured by PhenoMap. Photos courtesy of the PhenoCam network.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to the complex ecological interactions between plants and the environment. For range managers concerned with maintaining the integrity and productivity of rangelands, it is critical to monitor the seasonal development and condition of grasses and other vegetation on which cattle graze.
A family prepares for a day of fishing along the John Day Wild and Scenic River, Oregon. Photo courtesy of Greg Shine.
American ideas about nature and outdoor recreation are perpetually changing. As demographics, technologies, and consumer preferences shift, land managers are asking for relevant and timely information that will help them anticipate change and manage sustainable visitor use across public lands.
Northern spotted owl. USDA Forest Service photo by Julie Jenkins.
Some scientific research requires being in the right place at the right time. Missing a window for location- and time-specific research can mean missing out on valuable data needed to make informed land management decisions. For many Forest Service scientists, the global COVID-19 pandemic has presented a novel roadblock to such important work.
New threats from increased area, density and layering of forests, climate change, shifting wildfire regimes, and invasive species in forest landscapes east of the Cascade Range have triggered a need for new management policies. USDA Forest Service photo.
Large and old trees are important landscape elements. Given the complexity of changing climatic and wildfire regimes, as well as social and economic considerations, land managers are evaluating whether protecting many of these critical trees may require moving beyond one-size-fits-all restrictions like the 21-inch rule.
A view from the Buckhorn Wilderness in the Olympic National Forest, Washington. Coastal forests in the Pacific Northwest store globally significant amounts of carbon in trees and soil. USDA Forest Service photo by Matthew Tharp.
Urgency is growing among legislators, conservation organizations, and the wood products industry to better understand how forests store carbon and how management choices affect the carbon balance. The Pacific Northwest Research Station is taking a convening role with states and nongovernmental organizations to address research needs across stewardship boundaries.
Urban trees are known to provide health benefits to society, but they can also have economic benefits. Tampa, Florida, faces major redevelopment pressure that could directly affect the relationship between urban trees and single-family house prices. Policymakers and developers wanted to know how the presence of trees could affect the value of houses being sold for redevelopment.
Jeffrey pine. USDI Bureau of Land Management photo.
Just as a high or low temperature alerts a doctor to illness in a patient, scientists have developed a method for taking a tree’s temperature to determine drought stress before the tree is showing other visible signs. Using existing Forest Service remote sensors on a fixed wing platform, the newly calibrated and validated approach can detect tree drought stress across swaths of the forest.
A meadow of wildflowers in the Los Padres National Forest, California, provides scenic views and habitat, among other ecosystem services. Photo by USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region.
After wildfires, resource managers on national forests often prepare natural resource damage assessments that quantify the impacts of the wildfire on natural resources and the ecosystem services they provide.
A stream in the Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon. USDA Forest Service photo.