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Forestry

New Research Confirms that Today’s Wildfires Moderate Future Fires

The Forest Service manages landscapes, so they are resilient and resistant to threats of all kinds—from fires, to drought, to pest infestations. Forest Service researchers recently confirmed that naturally occurring wildland fire helps create fire-resilient landscapes that limit the start and spread of subsequent fires.

New Stamp Series Recognizes America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers

The National Wild and Scenic River System spans more than 13,000 miles of the United States through landscapes as diverse as the rivers themselves.

Just last year, the system celebrated its 50th anniversary. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. On signing the law, President Johnson said “an unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today,” adding that unless there were steps taken to protect them, healthy, free flowing rivers would become a thing of the past.

‘Unsung Heroes’ Help Find Infant Left Deep in the Woods

Forest Service law enforcement officers Nicholas Scholz and Patrick Legg helped find the needle in a 2 million-acre haystack.

The needle was a 5-month-old infant, and the haystack is the Lolo National Forest in Montana. Last week, the officers were each honored as an Unsung Hero for their work in helping to find the infant who many feared might be dead after a man reported he had wrecked his car with his girlfriend’s son inside. At one point, the man even said he had killed, then buried the baby.

How Fire-Adapted Communities are Paying Off

Fire seasons have lengthened so much that we now use the term fire year, firefighting costs are breaking new records, and loss of life and property are part of an alarming new pattern. The ability to mitigate these impacts with community collaboration is critically important.

Pardon our Smoke

Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. Air quality impacts from wildfires have become significant health events and are now, in fact, the greatest source of air pollution exposure faced by the American public. In addition, as wildfires increase in duration, communities often face multiple weeks of exposure. In 2018, there were over 3,700 times that fine particulate levels exceeded the 24-hour standard in the Western United States.

What it Takes to Bring Back the Near Mythical American Chestnut Trees

Sometimes reaching a height of more than 100 feet tall with trunk diameters often well over 10 feet, the American chestnut was the giant of the eastern U.S. forests. There were once billions of them and their range stretched from Georgia and Alabama to Michigan, but the majestic tree was gone before forest science existed to document its role in the ecosystem.

The State of the Forest

The United States forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the nation’s total manufacturing GDP, producing over $200 billion in products every year. To keep tabs on the condition and status of America’s forest resources over time, the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program compiles the official estimates for all public and private forest lands in the country. This long-term trend information is used to inform economic, policy, and management decisions at a range of scales.

New Science Framework Provides Basis for Conservation and Restoration of Sagebrush

“Resilience” is the ability to recover from change, or when you think about landscapes, the ability to recover from disturbances like wildfires. A new model takes the idea of resilience and applies it to the natural environment, specifically, to sagebrush. This resilience model is one of the core elements of the new Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome (Part 2).