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forest service

Connecting Veterans with the Lands for which they Fought

Millions visit America’s public lands every year to have fun and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In fact, spending time in nature can be truly restorative and research shows that nature and green spaces have a positive effect on human health and wellbeing. Veterans, especially, may benefit from nature-based therapies on public lands to relieve stress and symptoms of trauma endured during their time in service.

Trillion Trees: Reducing Wildfire Risk, Protecting People and Wildlife

An opaque, autumn haze smothers much of the western United States from the millions of acres burning across forests in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. Fire size and severity are rising in tandem with record heat, low winter snowpack, decreased summer rains, and abundant forest fuels. Wildfires in the West doubled in total size between 2000-2015 compared to the previous 15 years, burning an average 6.8 million acres annually in the last decade. This trend has wide-ranging consequences on the health and productivity of our national forests, our drinking water supplies, and wildlife habitat.

Promoting Pollinators with Agroforestry

Plant pollination by animals is critical for healthy ecosystems and an estimated 85% of the world’s flowering plants depend on animals, mostly insects, like bees, for pollination.

Shared Stewardship Project Protects Mountaintop Village

Just outside of Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona, the mountaintop village of Summerhaven can breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to the cooperation of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the State of Arizona through shared stewardship, Summerhaven was able to avoid the devastation of the Bighorn Fire, which burned nearly 120,000 acres.

Trees and Shrubs Protect Crops and Generate Income for Farmers

Across the United States, farmers are taking innovative approaches to foster environmental stewardship and economic viability through a common conservation practice called the riparian forest buffer. Supporting production while enhancing conservation is an important goal of both US Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda (PDF, 196 KB) and of the USDA Forest Service. Agroforestry, the intentional integration of trees and crops and/or livestock to meet economic, conservation, and social goals, is one strategy that offers many innovative “productive conservation” options, including riparian buffers.

Forest Service Research Reduces Fire Danger in Chernobyl Contaminated Zone

In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded and heavily contaminated nearly 40,000 square miles with radioisotopes. The contaminated area became known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine and the Polesie Radioecological Reserve in Belarus. Today, the site remains heavily contaminated and access is restricted primarily to staff working to stabilize the remnants of the exploded reactor.