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Five Diamonds for Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday with More Fun to Come

If birthday parties were rated, the events surrounding Smokey Bear’s big day would easily earn five stars or diamonds since it is his 75th. From California to Maine, states held celebrations in recognition of the USDA Forest Service’s fire prevention message “bearer” and his famous line, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”

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?

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.

‘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.