American innovation is one of our most special traditions, fueling our nation to new heights over the course of our history. Innovation is critically important in rural America, where research is helping to grow American agriculture, create new homegrown products, generate advanced renewable energy and more.
Continued research has the capacity to lead the way to economic opportunity and new job creation in rural areas – and USDA has been hard at work to carry out these efforts. But we need Congress to get its work done and provide a new Farm Bill that recommits our nation to innovation in the years to come. Read more »
Testing and analyzing thousands of shattered Major League bats, U.S. Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) developed changes in manufacturing that decreased the rate of shattered maple bats by more than 50 percent since 2008. While the popularity of maple bats is greater today than ever before, the number of shattered bats continues to decline. Photo Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.
Rate of shattered maple bats down 50 percent.
In 2008, Major League Baseball (MLB) came to the U.S. Forest Service, asking our Forest Products Laboratory to investigate why baseball bats were increasingly shattering into multiple pieces on contact.
The Forest Service team, led by David Kretschmann, dug in, swung for the fences and scored big time! Read more »
A set of self-adhesive Forever Stamps (Steve Schmieding/U.S. Forest Service)
Twenty years have passed since the U.S. Postal Service first started transitioning from lickable stamps to the peel-and-stick squares used today, thanks to the research by the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis.
The two agencies first research collaboration focused on developing the peel-and-stick – or pressure-sensitive adhesives – that didn’t gum up the equipment used to recycle paper. By using this adhesive an additional 20 million tons of waste paper can be recycled annually. Read more »
A new manual released by the U.S. Forest Service offers solutions for using the millions of dead and dying urban trees infected by invasive insects in the eastern United States.
The free publication, developed by the Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory and the University of Minnesota Duluth, offers insight into the wide variety of products and markets that are available, and practical advice for considering the many options. Uses for insect-killed wood include lumber, furniture, cabinetry, flooring and pellets for wood-burning energy facilities. Last year, commemorative ornaments were made from beetle-killed trees for the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree celebration.
: Since its discovery in 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 13 states. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
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Forest Service research led to the creation of Hollywood’s first 100 percent sustainable studio set.
Hollywood’s first 100 percent sustainable studio set was created for 20th Century Fox’s comedy series “Raising Hope” thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory and NOBLE Environmental Technologies, a long-term collaborator with the laboratory.
NOBLE Environmental Technologies’ patented ECOR® panels, which were developed in partnership with laboratory researchers, were used to create a modern hotel suite for a two-part episode of the show. ECOR® is a recycled, lightweight panel product that is strong but weighs as little as one-fourth the weight of conventional wood product panels. The product is 100 percent, USDA-certified bio-based and made with 100 percent cellulose fibers including post-consumer paper, wood and agricultural raw material sources. ECOR® contains no toxic additives or adhesives. Read more »
Aldo Leopold seated on rimrock above the Rio Gavilan in northern Mexico while on a bow hunting trip in 1938. (Photo courtesy Aldo Leopold Foundation)
Over his 40-year career as a forester, scientist, teacher, and writer, Aldo Leopold brought a greater understanding of our relationship with the natural world at a time when the technological advances of the 20th century increasingly shut people off from their surroundings. Read more »