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Latin Roots Help Forest Service Employee Grow Interest in Natural Resources Among Young People

Fabian Garcia, a U.S. Forest Service employee for eight years, intimately understands the connection between nature and nurture.

As a young Latino growing up in an agricultural community in central California, Garcia’s world revolved around the outdoors. When he, his parents and three siblings were not working, they were fishing in nearby lakes and streams, exploring giant sequoias that towered over forests or traveled just to play in the snow.

Today, Garcia, who is now 31, works with high school students in Los Angeles as director of the Southern California Consortium – the Forest Service conduit that helps young people connect to nature.  His job has helped him to understand how his childhood connection to nature gave him peace of mind and eagerly shares his experiences with others. Read more »

Conservation-minded Kentucky Farmer Saves Money & Improves the Environment

Just outside Lexington, Ky., you can find Peaceful Valley Farm, the longtime Kiser family home. Joe Kiser bought the 162-acre farm in 1965. The farm has thrived since then—even during the current severe drought—thanks to Kiser’s conservation-minded land management.

Kiser operated the farm, which includes cattle and a large garden, for many years using water from a nearby stream.

With technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Kiser dug a well in the mid-‘90s, but continued to use the stream for supplemental water as needed. But when the stream ran dry in this summer’s drought, Kiser struggled to keep his livestock and garden watered and had to rely partly on city water. Read more »

The U.S. Forest Service Partners with a Montana Hospital on a Renewable Fuels Project

Work in progress on the Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator in Superior, Montana. Photo provided by Mineral Community Hospital

Work in progress on the Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator in Superior, Montana. Photo provided by Mineral Community Hospital

Mineral Community Hospital in Superior, Montana received an $190,000 Woody Biomass Utilization Grant from the U.S. Forest Service.  The new Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to help prevent wildfires.  The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity. Read more »