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Dogs as Heroes: USDA Trained Detector Dogs Help Defend American Border from Pests and Diseases

While dogs are man’s best friend, they are also one of the most efficient friends we have in protecting American agriculture and natural resources from the threat of invasive pests. Last month a dog trained by U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proved that fact when he uncovered a roasted pig head stowed in passenger baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Pork and pork products from other countries are not permitted to enter the U.S. as they could bring diseases like African swine fever and foot and mouth disease to the United States.  

What Can I Bring Back with Me When I Travel Overseas?

When you travel, it’s likely you’ll want to bring home more than just memories of your trip. If you are someone who likes to bring home souvenirs, mementos, food gifts or other objects from overseas, there’s some important information you need to know. Selecting the wrong kinds of items could bring back more than you bargained for… you may also bring along diseases or invasive species that could threaten forests, farms or even your garden. These seemingly harmless items could devastate United States agriculture.

Traveling to South Korea for the Olympics? Bring Back Great Memories, Not a Pest or Disease

The Winter Olympics begin shortly in South Korea, bringing us two weeks of incredible athletic performances. While many of us will watch the games from our TVs, computers or phones, some lucky individuals will travel to witness the games in person. And when traveling, people often bring back items as souvenirs or as gifts for those of us at home. If you are traveling to the Olympics (or anywhere outside the country), keep in mind there are rules about agricultural products being brought into the U.S.

It's National Wildflower Week! Get a Little Wild with Flowers on National Forests and Grasslands

Walking along the peaceful Hunter Creek Road in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness, in the Hoosier National Forest, you catch a glimpse of beautiful periwinkle flowers swaying in the warm spring air. A short hike uphill and you are immersed in the full bloom of wild hyacinth, along with other delightful wildflowers such as twinleaf and trout lily.

While getting caught up in the beauty and serenity of this colorful scene, you may observe a white-tailed deer, raccoon, fox squirrel, red-shouldered hawk or scarlet tanager. This enchanted corner of the Hoosier National Forest is its only congressionally designated wilderness. It boasts plentiful spring flora thanks to its proximity to a geologic feature known as the Mount Carmel Fault. And, this is just one of 82 Wildflower Viewing Areas in the Forest Service’s Eastern Region