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Gooding Community Garden Produces Food, Knowledge, Service and Fun

Gooding Community Garden sign.

Gooding Community Garden sign.

Eric Moore had a vision to grow a garden outside his office window. Moore, an employee of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho, works at the USDA Service Center in Gooding. Read more »

Forest Service Chief Tidwell tours the District of Columbia’s urban forest

District of Columbia State Forester Monica Lear recently hosted U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Forest Service staff in a tour of the District for the National Association of State Foresters (NASF).  The tour highlighted diverse urban and community forestry projects and partnerships in the city.

At the 2011 NASF Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Chief Tidwell spoke of the significance of the nation’s 100 million acres of urban forests where 80 percent of Americans live, work and play under their canopy. Urban trees make up an important part of the framework of green canopy in metropolitan areas connected with national, public and private lands and they are important to the health of the environment we share. Read more »

Forest Service Research Indicates Yellow-Cedar and Other Trees in Alaska Hold Biomass and Carbon

Tall and majestic, yellow-cedar is a culturally and economically valuable tree that has been dying off on more than a half-million acres for the past 100 years in southeast Alaska and nearby British Columbia.  In fact, yellow-cedar decline is now viewed as one of the best documented examples of the effect of climate change on a forest tree species.

Despite this die-off, however, a recent U.S. Forest Service report on the condition of the great coastal forests of southeast and south-central Alaska show that live trees in the region store 1.3 billion tons of biomass and carbon. Read more »

Oregon Resident Honored as Forest Service Regional Volunteer of the Year

Starr serves as the trail boss for Mid-Valley Oregon Equestrian Trails and is a member of the Back Country Horseman of Oregon. USFS photo.

Starr serves as the trail boss for Mid-Valley Oregon Equestrian Trails and is a member of the Back Country Horseman of Oregon. USFS photo.

The Northwest Region of the Forest Service has named Joel Starr of Philomath, Ore., as their volunteer of the year.  The honor is bestowed upon those individuals who contribute outstanding service to public lands. Starr has worked on a variety of volunteer projects for the Willamette, Deschutes, Siuslaw and Mt. Hood national forests. His contributions to public lands in western Oregon span over 10 years. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Renewable Energy in Your Community

Over the past three years, USDA has taken important steps to help meet President Obama’s goal of building a secure energy future for our nation. We’ve helped back the science, research and planning to expand production of biofuels and other bio-based products. We’ve supported farmers and entrepreneurs working to produce renewable energy or become more energy efficient.

We want Americans to learn about our good work and also to see how their community can get involved in an expanding renewable energy and bio-based economy that is creating jobs and driving economic growth across rural America. Read more »

USDA Announces Streamlined Access to Energy Investment Information

The Renewable Energy Investments web map contains information regarding USDA programs that provide assistance to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The Renewable Energy Investments web map contains information regarding USDA programs that provide assistance to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

As Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development, it is my responsibility to oversee the administration of many of the renewable energy programs included in the 2008 Farm Bill.  For example, today we are announcing the availability of funds for the popular “Rural Energy for America” program (REAP). Read more »