Tim Mentz Sr., Standing Rock Sioux cultural resource expert, explains the historical significance of the area that is now the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. (U.S. Forest Service/Fred Clark)
Our curiosity was palpable in our expressions, we visitors to this South Dakota field, as we pondered the patterns produced by the tops of rocks pressed into grass and soil, patterns tantalizingly organized and purposeful: shapes of things that have been. What stories were held in this small corner of the Black Hills National Forest?
As members of the Forest Service’s sacred sites executive and core teams, our task is to develop ways to fulfill the recommendations from the Report to the Secretary of Agriculture: USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites.
Visiting this sacred place was the starting point of our learning and working together as a team. We needed to experience firsthand the feeling and meaning of this place to help us incorporate an appropriate attitude as we started three days of meetings on how to best implement the recommendations, to better protect and provide access to Indian sacred sites. Read more »
California Conservation Corps Veterans Green Jobs members receiving training and hands-on work experience in forestry and firefighting skills. (CCC photo)
The U.S. Forest Service actively recruits eligible veterans for multiple occupations. Currently, veterans make up over 12 percent of the Forest Service workforce. The agency values the experience, commitment and work ethic that veterans bring to the job, as well as their significant skills and abilities.
Two programs are of particular importance to veterans who are seeking an opportunity to get their boot in the door and improve their chances of being hired by a land management agency.
In its third year, nationally, the Veterans Fire Corps program is operated as a partnership with the Student Conservation Association. It’s a collaborative initiative that builds upon the knowledge, leadership experience and training of men and women who served in the armed forces, retraining them and refocusing their mission to protecting public lands from the threat of wildfire. Read more »
Fall needle cast is natural for many conifers, including ponderosa pine. The trees shed their oldest leaves each fall, but the leaves at the branch tips remain green. Pine trees that lose their newer leaves at the branch tips may be stressed or diseased. Photo by Jill Welborn.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I think many people are relieved to see the fall colors and relish the cool mornings here on the Black Hills National Forest. Read more »
Seth Bullock’s plans for the Mount Roosevelt monument
Mount Roosevelt in South Dakota is maintained by the Black Hills National Forest as a recreational trail and picnic area where the 5,690-foot summit is dominated by the Friendship Tower— a stone memorial that rises about 25 feet above the surrounding meadow.
Friendship Tower was built by Seth Bullock in 1919 in honor of his friend President Theodore Roosevelt. Bullock, a former sheriff of Deadwood, S.D., wanted to create a memorial of his friend’s life and a place where people could view wide open spaces that both Bullock and Roosevelt had become so fond of during their lives. He had met Roosevelt, then a deputy sheriff from Medora, N.D., in 1884. The two quickly became lifelong friends, Roosevelt later saying of Bullock, “Seth Bullock is a true Westerner, the finest type of frontiersman.” Read more »