The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitors Center is a large public building that is used by more than 140,000 visitors a year. With steeply rising utility costs over the last decade limited funding for operational costs were suggesting shorter operating hours and reduced seasonal openings to save money. To avoid limiting public services, the Forest Service began to explore alternative solutions.
A new photovoltaic system for the Mono Basin Visitor Center on the Inyo National Forest will save taxpayers an estimated $20-25,000 in energy costs. Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service photo
Situated in a climate where the sun shines an average of 289 days of the year, installation of a photovoltaic power system for the visitor center offered a logical opportunity to cut energy costs and reduce the agency’s carbon footprint. In 2010, Forest Service Recovery Act funding offered the opportunity for the investment for the energy and money saving technology. Read more »
This is the fourth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.
When the National Organic Program (NOP) declared in late 2009 that it was the beginning of the “age of enforcement,” it renewed its mission to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal and the products labeled organic.
Enforcement efforts are a critical part of that mission, and investigating violations of the organic standards alleged by complaints is an integral component of the NOP’s work. Read more »
This year USDA is commemorating the 150th anniversary of our founding. From time to time we will post blogs – like this one – that look to celebrate our past accomplishments and share the unique and important contributions the Department has made to the nation over 150 years. Also, be sure to sign up for USDA at 150 Factoid Series for historical facts and photos here.
If you have ever enjoyed the delicious sweetness of California navel oranges, you might be surprised to discover that you have California pioneer Eliza Lovell Tibbets and USDA’s first botanist and landscape designer William Saunders to thank. Read more »
Thousands of temporary seasonal jobs with the Forest Service and its partners are available this summer and now is the time to apply.
Javonnta Murphy and Troy Dorgeloh of the California Conservation Corps work to add 8 miles to the San Domingo portion of the Arnold Rim Trail in the Stanislaus National Forest in California. USFS photo.
“Due to the seasonal nature of much of our work, such as wildfire fighting and seasonal recreation programs, we anticipate hiring many temporary workers,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. Read more »
As a warm winter drew to a close with the warmest March on record, many farmers around the country were already in the fields and others are itching to get crops in the ground.
Each planting season begins with such promise. This one is no different. But agriculture is unpredictable. And in the months ahead, some of our nation’s producers will contend with droughts, floods, tornados, storms and other natural disasters before they can harvest their crops and bring them to market. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
Since taking office, President Obama has been committed to an all-of-the-above approach that expands production of American energy resources. Already, there are signs that this strategy is making an impact. Last year, domestic oil production reached the highest level in nearly a decade. Imports of foreign oil fell to the lowest level in 16 years. We’re producing more natural gas than at any time in our history. Since 2008, renewable energy generation from sources like wind, solar, and geothermal has nearly doubled. And the Obama Administration has supported the first nuclear power plant in thirty years.
Strengthening the domestic biofuels industry has been another critical component of this overall strategy. And today, U.S. biofuel production is at its highest level in history. In fact, average monthly production increased more than 40 percent between 2008 and 2011. That means more jobs – especially in rural America – and greater energy security. Read more »