A walk with Vive Northwest near Vancouver, Washington. USDA Forest Service photo by Matthew Helmer.
Public land managers are eager to welcome diverse populations to national forests, parks, and monuments. Current information about user preferences, desired features, and existing barriers to accessibility is essential so recreation managers can plan accordingly.
People play in Looking Glass Waterfall, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo.
Recreation management is becoming trickier as population densities increase and more and more people seek out natural areas for solitude, beauty, and an antidote to screen time. Research can help recreation managers.
A rancher examines a beaver dam in the Scott River Basin, California. USDA Forest Service photo by Susan Charnley.
The use of beavers and beaver dams (real or artificial) to help restore streams in the western United States has grown rapidly over the past decade.
A map of recreation at Snow Lake, Washington, based on social media posts.
Recreation is the most popular use of national forests. Nearly 900 million yearly visits to federally managed lands in the United States support more than 800,000 jobs and contribute $49 billion in economic activity annually, Forest Service economists have found.
Forest Service general technical reports like this one are an important source for forest plan revisions. USDA Forest Service photo.
The 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands in the United States are managed according to the guidance of planning documents, or “forest plans,” that must be periodically updated. Natural resource managers and planners who help develop these forest plans are directed to base their assessments on the best available science.
Managers who engage frequently with scientists have a more positive view of science. USDA Forest Service photo courtesy of Miles Hemstrom.
Land managers and planners in the Western United States weigh many complicated issues as they make management decisions or revise plans. Science can be a useful source of guidance as they factor in the social and ecological variables affected by these decisions. But how do they find the science they need?
A truck is filled with wood chips that will be used to generate electricity. USDA photo.
States in the Western United States differ greatly in their extent and use of forest resources, levels of federal ownership, community and stakeholder dynamics, and renewable energy polices. Forest thinning treatments to reduce fuel levels yields woody material that is too small to be milled into lumber. It can be used to produce to energy, however.
Douglas-fir in western Washington. USDA Forest Service photo by Connie Harrington.
One approach to mitigating climate change is to capitalize on the ability of trees to absorb atmospheric carbon. In terms of policy, this can be accomplished using a variety of approaches. Evaluating policy alternatives for mitigating climate change depends on anticipating the potential carbon sequestration benefits likely to result from different policy alternatives.
Hokitika Gorge on the South Island of New Zealand. USDA Forest Service photo by Geoffrey Donovan.
Asthma is on the rise in developed countries. One possible reason for this trend is provided by the hygiene hypothesis, which posits that microbial exposure is required for children’s immune systems to properly develop. In other words, keeping children overly clean may result in an increased incidence of diseases, such as childhood asthma, that have an immune component.
Whitewater rafting is a popular activity in Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Bob Wick, USDI Bureau of Land Management.
Natural resource managers need up-to-date information about how people interact with public lands and the meanings these places hold for use in planning and decisionmaking. The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service jointly manage Browns Canyon National Monument and are preparing a land management plan for this popular destination in Colorado.