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Canoemobile inspires future conservation leaders!

A young girl looks fearfully at the large wooden canoe bobbing on the water. She steps into the canoe and it moves. She yelps, and is given a reassuring smile by her boat captain. She gets settled holding her paddle tightly, convinced with every movement that the canoe will capsize.

The canoe takes off as everyone starts to paddle in sync in order to glide across the water. She begins to relax and enjoy herself, soaking up the sun, blue sky and fresh air. Before she knows it, the canoe is coming to dock, and she’s imagining her next adventure on the water.

Between Two Worlds: Frank Lake heals the land using modern science and traditional ecological knowledge


Frank Lake grew up learning traditional practices from the Karuk and Yurok Tribes. He developed an interest in science which led to his career choice as a research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station. As a young man, he didn’t realize how unusual the experience was of spending time in two parallel worlds.

The Megram Fire of 1999 was a turning point for Lake, and the Forest Service as well. It was one of California’s largest wildland fires ever and the agency grappled with how to restore salmon in the burned over watershed. Lake knew that local tribal elders considered “fire as medicine,” and an important part of the ecosystem. The link between fire and fish is through water, they told him, and “water is sacred to all life.” Fires could reduce the number of trees in overly dense forests and improve spring flow needed by rivers to support healthy fisheries.

Be a Fire Wise know it all


You’ve heard this from us during previous fire seasons, and you’ll continue to hear it from us every fire season: You can never be Fire Wise enough. And, with this being National Preparedness Month, you’re going to hear it a lot. 

The theme this year for National Preparedness Month is “Don’t Wait, Communicate.  Make your Emergency Plan Today”. This straight forward theme makes it very clear that planning is crucial to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property against wildfire.

Forest Service Funds Landmark Climate Change Study

Preparing for the effects of climate change, the U.S. Forest Service has taken the lead in a new report that highlights actions taken by federal agencies to adapt to a changing climate.

“Some federal agen­cies are making good progress in climate change adaptation,” said University of Washington scientist and lead author Jessica Halofsky. “Most agencies have broad plans that describe approaches and priorities for climate change in general … but on-the-ground projects have been implemented slowly across the country.”

El Yunque National Forest: U.S. Forest Service Works to Address Urban Expansion

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is unique for the U.S. Forest Service. At 28,000 acres, it’s the smallest national forest and the only tropical rain forest managed by the Forest Service, boasting the greatest biodiversity among national forests.

Spring brings oohs and aahs – wildflower season begins to bloom across national forests and grasslands

As spring begins across the nation, fields are turning green – and pastel pink, flaming scarlet, electric orange, brilliant yellow, deep violet and florescent blue.   Wildflowers are abloom!

 This year, the Forest Service has released an updated wildflower map with 317 viewing areas to choose from on America’s national forests and grasslands.  In addition to locations, information is also provided on the best time for peak viewing.

It's for the Birds! Annual Flyway Festival Enthusiasts Learn More about Migrating Birds and Role of California's National Forests

An estimated 4,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area recently celebrated the return of millions of migrating birds as part of the 16th annual Flyway Festival held on Mare Island in Vallejo, Calif. California national forests act as a vital habitat link in the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south route of travel for birds migrating every year from Alaska to Patagonia.

The birds travel some or all of this distance both in the spring and in the fall, following food sources heading to breeding grounds overwintering sites. Many of the bird’s native habitats such as oak woodlands, riparian areas and mixed conifer forests are found in the golden state’s national forests.

Rare Sighting of Baby Bald Eagle Surprises San Bernardino National Forest Staff, Visitors

A new baby bald eagle will soon begin his flight lessons on the San Bernardino National Forest as the first recorded chick to be successfully nested in recent times near Big Bear Lake.

The chick was first spotted Feb. 21 by Forest Service wildlife biologist Marc Stamer while leading a school field trip.  “I was shocked to look through the spotting scope and see a bald eagle chick sitting up in the nest,” said Stamer. “The students, teachers and parents were as excited to see a baby eagle as I was!  It was a first for all of us!”

Georgia School Kids Plant Trees While Meeting Olympians

Around 1,500 Jasper and Putnam County elementary students in Georgia got their hands dirty planting trees while meeting Olympic athletes at the Kids4Trees program sponsored by the Forest Service. The event was the first of 35 planned across the nation for 2012.

Bryan Jacobs, an inspiring two-time Olympic weightlifter, was among three Olympians who visited with students. After learning what it takes to help both trees and young spirits thrive, the students planted trees at their schools and potted their own small trees to take home.

Keeping Wilderness Wild

When the first Europeans settled in what is now the United States, they found a continent of extensive wildlands. In less than 500 years, the undeveloped nature of these wildlands has been reduced significantly. As they became increasingly scarce and a fledgling conservation movement lost natural treasures like Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley to development, Americans began to appreciate their value.

With passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, a new course in history was chartered -- to preserve some of the country's last remaining wild places and protect their natural processes and values from development.