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Don’t Get Burned by Foodborne Illness this Memorial Day

Tips to prepare your burgers, chicken, and hot dogs safely

With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, people all over the country are stocking up on charcoal and filling their propane tanks in preparation for another cookout season.  As Americans begin to focus on spending more time outdoors and grilling meals with family and friends, it is important to ensure that grillers are also taking the necessary steps to ensure food safety this season.

As you kick off the summer grilling season, keep your food safe by remembering these four steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill.  Be sure that you start with clean surfaces and clean hands, and remember to separate raw meat and poultry from your veggies and cooked foods.  Also, the most import tool you have at your grill is your food thermometer.  Before you take your burgers, hot dogs or chicken off the grill, check the temperature (click here for temperature recommendations). Read more »

USDA Tribal Collaboration Meetings Continue in Southeast Alaska

Left to Right:  Tim Gillen (Wrangell Cooperative Association); Delores Churchill (Ketchikan Indian Community); Frank Demmert, Jr. (Klawock Cooperative Association) and Rob Sanderson (Ketchikan Indian Community)

Left to Right: Tim Gillen (Wrangell Cooperative Association); Delores Churchill (Ketchikan Indian Community); Frank Demmert, Jr. (Klawock Cooperative Association) and Rob Sanderson (Ketchikan Indian Community)

The Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the country, and constitutes 85 percent of the land mass in Southeast Alaska.  No doubt, land management issues in Southeast were a main topic of discussion at the Tribal Collaboration Meeting held in Ketchikan on May 4th. Read more »

Forest Service Lines up 500 Jobs for Young Conservationists

When President Obama recently called on federal agencies to help young people find more work in the great outdoors, the U.S. Forest Service – with 193 million acres of prime outdoor space —responded quickly with jobs for hundreds of underserved youths.

The America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists initiative will fund 20 projects, providing more than 500 young people with the experience of a lifetime working on public lands this summer work season. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced $3.7 million in competitive grants through the initiative. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Remembering Those Who Served

This Memorial Day weekend, Americans across our nation will spend time with family and friends – enjoying parades, barbeques, ballgames and the great outdoors.

But it’s important that we also take time to remember the men and women who have given their lives defending the United States. While we cannot repay the debt of gratitude we owe these service members, we can honor their memory. We can pay tribute to our veterans, as well as those who today are on active duty. Read more »

In Honor of Small Business Week, Save Mother Earth by Saving Resources

Business owners and managers around the world like to save money.  Electricity, natural gas, and water are three utilities that can drain a bank account fast.  N-K Properties, Inc., a car wash business, based in Yankton, South Dakota wanted to improve the bottom line.  The car wash business is a very utility hungry business, so energy efficient technology would benefit the business with increased comfort for employees and customers to significant dollar savings in energy, operation, and maintenance costs.

The design concept that N-K Properties was operating under for their energy efficiency improvements was – Save Mother Earth by saving resources.   Working collaboratively with USDA Rural Development, N-K Properties, Inc. was able to integrate energy efficiencies into their operation with the installation of a wind turbine to generate electricity.  The signage consists of Light Emitting Diode “LED” to save energy.  In addition, geothermal heating and cooling equipment were installed for the building. Read more »

Forest Service Eastern Region highlights Legacy Trail on White Mountain National Forest

Driving along the Kancamagus Highway  on White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, N.H.

Driving along the Kancamagus Highway on White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, N.H.

The Weeks Act 100-mile Legacy Trail has recently been unveiled as a virtual self-guided driving tour of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.   The tour is named after the watershed conservation legislation of 1911 known as the Weeks Act that led to the creation of national forests east of the Mississippi River. Read more »