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Love Your Forests All Year Long

Forests are an intricate part of our life, from the air they clean to the water they provide. So, we invite you to love your national forests.

Jobs for Young Adults in the US Forest Service are Waiting

The Obama Administration has announced the formation of a national council to guide full implementation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps – a national collaborative effort to put America’s youth to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors.

Thousands of temporary seasonal jobs with the Forest Service and its partners are available this summer and officials say now is the time to begin the application process.

Annually, the Forest Service and its conservation partners hire over 3,000 people for summer positions that involve work such as reducing the impacts of climate change on the nation’s natural resources, empowering Native American communities, building trails, enhancing wildlife habitat, and improving and restoring cultural and historic landmarks.

Forest Service Waives Fees on National Public Lands Day

The crisp air and vivid colors of fall make forests especially welcoming this time of year. The Forest Service wants everyone to get out and enjoy the natural beautiful of America’s lands, so in observance of National Public Lands Day, on Saturday, Sept. 29, we will again waive the standard amenity fees for a full day at recreation sites nationwide.

This annual fee-waiver event is designed to instill a sense of shared stewardship and educate the public about the importance of natural resources. This is the third time this year the Forest Service is offering fee waivers.

U.S. Public Lands Continue to Create Jobs and Boost Local Economies Through Tourism, Restoration Efforts, and Energy Initiatives

Cross posted from the White House blog:

America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other outdoor spaces are treasured for their beauty, their enjoyment, and for their value to our culture and history -- sometimes, it can be easy to overlook that they also serve as economic drivers for American communities.  In sectors ranging from tourism to outdoor recreation and energy development, our nation’s public lands and waters are creating jobs and supporting local economies across the country.

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an annual visitor survey, which highlights how our nation’s forests are contributing billions of dollars to the economy and creating jobs in tourism, restoration, and renewable energy.  The report showed that USDA Forest Service lands attracted 166 million visitors in 2011, and, as a result, visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs.  The survey also reveals that these jobs produced labor income of more than $7.6 billion, while forest and grassland visitor spending contributed more than $13 billion to the gross domestic product.

Secretary's Column: Conserving and Restoring America’s Natural Resources

Every day, the work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conserve America’s lands and natural resources stretches across our nation. As President Obama and I work together to boost the rural economy and create jobs across America, it’s important to recognize the strength we draw as a nation from our forests, grasslands, farms, ranches, rivers and wilderness areas.

And it’s even more important that we all work together to protect them.

In 2010, President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors initiative to help reconnect Americans to the land, promote recreation and tourism that bring jobs to rural communities, and build on America’s long history of conservation.

Celebrating National Get Outdoors Day with the U.S. Forest Service

Thousands of people across the nation attended a variety of events on U.S. Forest Service lands as part of the 5th annual National Get Outdoors Day.

NationalGetOutdoorsDay.Org is a campaign that encourages Americans, especially young people, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lifestyles, connect with nature and embrace public lands. The event also supports President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside! initiative.

Pacific NW Ski Area Association Honors Forest Service Scientists

In recognition of their nearly 70 years of combined service to the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association, Garth Ferber, Kenny Kramer, and Mark Moore are sharing the group’s 2012 Partner of the Year awards.

The three are meteorologists employed by the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center– a unit of the U.S. Forest Service located in National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle, Wash.

The Partner honor is reserved for a Forest Service employee who significantly and decisively helps to improve the quality and safety of Pacific Northwest winter sports facilities. This year the Association broke with tradition and presented three awards.

Forest Service Lines up 500 Jobs for Young Conservationists

When President Obama recently called on federal agencies to help young people find more work in the great outdoors, the U.S. Forest Service – with 193 million acres of prime outdoor space —responded quickly with jobs for hundreds of underserved youths.

The America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists initiative will fund 20 projects, providing more than 500 young people with the experience of a lifetime working on public lands this summer work season. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced $3.7 million in competitive grants through the initiative.

Secretary's Column: USDA Works for Farmers, Sportsmen and the Environment

America’s farmers are among our first and finest conservationists. At USDA, we support their work to protect natural landscapes, improve water and air quality, and preserve wildlife habitat, forests and soil.

In addition to environmental benefits, this work helps drive economic growth and creates good, middle class jobs – particularly in rural communities. Farmers who help the environment improve their bottom line. Fishing, hunting, hiking, boating and other outdoor recreation adds $730 billion to our nation’s economy each year and supports millions of jobs.

That is why President Barack Obama launched his America’s Great Outdoors initiative to help re-connect Americans with the outdoors and create local partnerships focused on the long-term health of our nation’s landscapes. In the past months, as part of that effort, USDA took steps to work with landowners, farmers and ranchers conserving these lands while promoting outdoor recreation opportunities that create jobs and drive economic growth.