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A Wood Product Stronger than Steel that Could Change the World

Measuring one million times less than the width of a human hair, graphene is harder than diamonds and 200 times stronger than steel. Small, strong, and flexible, it is the most conductive material on earth and has the potential to charge a cell phone in just five seconds or to upload a terabit of data in one. It can be used to filter salt from water, develop bullet-stopping body armor, and create biomicrorobots.

How the Military Helps Protect Natural Landscapes

Home to the premier restricted military airspace for unmanned aircraft system training in the western U.S., Army base Fort Huachuca supports training for personnel from the Air Force, Marine Corps, and U.S. Border Patrol. But it also serves as an example of successful mixed-use wildlands conservation, including healthy forests and grasslands, sustainable water resources, rural communities and economies, wildlife habitat, and recreation and tourism.

New Tool Helps California Land Managers Predict Tree Mortality

From 2006 through 2016, more than 100 million trees died in California due to the combined impacts of drought and bark beetles. Although tree mortality is part of a natural life cycle, at a massive level it can lead to adverse economic and social effects. So many dead and dying trees increase the risk of wildfire and threaten lives and property.

Tracking Forest Sustainability to Meet U.S. and International Goals

Sustaining the nation’s forests to provide lasting benefits to the people of the United States is at the core of the USDA Forest Service’s mission, and the agency is building the tools and data to support this mission. Specifically, Forest Service scientists actively monitor and assess the sustainability of the nation’s forests through the Sustainability Assessment Program, an effort that gathers and tracks information on forest conditions across the country. This information in turn enables informed discussions about sustainability in domestic and international circles.

Preparing for the Unexpected and Expected

Creating forests that can adapt and survive natural disturbances like wildland fires is a core mission of the USDA Forest Service. As has been recently witnessed by millions of TV viewers across the county, forests in California need to be able to bounce back following disturbances so that horrific tragedies like the mudslides near Santa Barbara can be greatly mitigated or completely avoided.

Sustaining the Forests of the Mississippi Headwaters

The headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River flow through Camp Ripley, a military facility that serves as the National Guard training center for Minnesota and six surrounding states. Straddling 50 miles of the Mississippi River, the area also includes the watersheds of four major tributary rivers, making it one of Minnesota’s most important sources of drinking water. Its 45,000 acres of open water support many fish, animal, and bird species, as well as recreational opportunities for residents, tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Forest Crews in Mississippi Implement Aggressive Restoration Strategy for Beetle Epidemic

Forest restoration crews in Mississippi are directing a full-frontal assault at eliminating the southern pine beetle, an insect the size of a grain of rice, that are threatening to destroy tens of thousands of acres of pine stands on four U.S. Forest Service ranger districts and nearby private forests.

A Million Acres Scorched by Montana Wildfires

Dry conditions plagued Montana this summer, with multiple wildfires torching over 1 million acres throughout the state. The largest fire, the Lodgepole Complex fire, impacted over 270,000 acres. Recent rain and snow, and the forecast for continued precipitation, help to suppress the fires and provide welcome relief for Montana residents.

Go Where the Wild Colors Are

Fall is here and it’s time to go wild! Or at least go to where nature’s brilliant hues of reds, yellows, and oranges are dotting our autumnal landscape: America’s national grasslands.

In fact, there are millions of square miles of these grasslands, and more than 16 million acres of them are managed by The Forest Service alone. While a lot of folks may not be aware of this, our 2017 theme of “Where the Wild Colors Are” is designed to let them know that fall is also beautiful in our National grasslands.