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Forestry

Science Simulations Support Salmon, Other Species

How do river ecosystems support fish? How do environmental changes influence the system’s capacity to support fish? And how might different restoration strategies influence fish? These are questions J. Ryan Bellmore, a research fish biologist who works in Juneau, Alaska, for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his partners set out to answer.

Multiagency Effort Goes Deep Inside a Fire

Forest fires often reach or exceed temperatures of 2,000° Fahrenheit—that’s equivalent to one-fifth the temperature of the surface of the sun. What is the impact of such high temperatures on the soil and plants of our forests? And how do the intensity and heat of a wildfire impact its behavior, smoke and the surrounding weather?

After the Fire - Wood Waste Put to Work

Biochar, or wood waste, is a porous carbon substance that results from burning wood in the absence of oxygen. It is typically created when burning chunks of wood are covered by ash, soil or a lid, which insulates the coals and starves them of oxygen. This fire remnant provides a valuable addition to soil for agriculture and gardening purposes as well as contributing to overall forest health.

Drought In The World’s Largest Temperate Rainforest?

Extreme drought in a rainforest might seem like an oxymoron, but it isn’t.

Since early 2018, the southern portion of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, has experienced moderate to extreme drought. This has wide-ranging consequences on drinking water supplies, electricity costs, salmon habitat and forest health.

Wildfires in All Seasons?

In recent decades the number, severity and overall size of wildfires has increased across much of the U.S. In fact, the 2018 wildfire season in California recorded the largest fire in acres burned, most destructive fire in property loss and deadliest fires in the state’s history.

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.

New 3D Fuel Modeling Helps Predict Fire Behavior

Land managers have a new tool in their firefighting arsenals that models forest fuels in three dimensions. These 3D fuel models have the potential to make firefighting and the management of controlled burns safer and less costly while helping to protect valuable natural resources.