State Highway 21, the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, winds across slopes between Idaho City and Lowman on the Boise National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service/ Edna Rey-Vizgirdas)
One of the first excursions Idaho locals recommend to newcomers is the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway along Highway 21 from Boise to Stanley, Idaho. The popular route traverses foothills, high-elevation forests and scenic river canyons in the heart of the Boise National Forest and Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Although beautiful in any season, fall is my favorite time of year for exploring Highway 21. The combination of sunny, cool days melding into together with cold-but-not-freezing nights help intensify the forest’s autumn hues. Color is often good in September but generally peaks in in early to mid-October, depending on elevation. Read more »
A family farm sits on small knoll in La Crosse, Wisconsin on April 25, 2008. There’s no better time than National Agriculture Day for all Americans to reflect on the contributions of American agriculture to the strength of our nation, and to say “Thank You” to farmers, ranchers and producers across the country.
As we mark National Agriculture Day, I want to give special recognition to our farmers, ranchers and producers for their spirit of innovation. Too often, Americans don’t take time to recognize the unique strength we have as a nation thanks to the innovation of American agriculture, and the willingness of our farmers, ranchers and producers to embrace new production methods.
We have a tremendously productive agriculture sector in the United States. In my lifetime, agriculture production has tripled. In 1950, a dairy cow produced about 5,300 pounds of milk each year; today, it’s 22,000 pounds per year. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other outdoor spaces are treasured for their beauty, their enjoyment, and for their value to our culture and history — sometimes, it can be easy to overlook that they also serve as economic drivers for American communities. In sectors ranging from tourism to outdoor recreation and energy development, our nation’s public lands and waters are creating jobs and supporting local economies across the country.
Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an annual visitor survey, which highlights how our nation’s forests are contributing billions of dollars to the economy and creating jobs in tourism, restoration, and renewable energy. The report showed that USDA Forest Service lands attracted 166 million visitors in 2011, and, as a result, visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs. The survey also reveals that these jobs produced labor income of more than $7.6 billion, while forest and grassland visitor spending contributed more than $13 billion to the gross domestic product. Read more »
Holland Lake sits at the base of the Swan Mountains about 25 miles north of Seeley Lake, Mont., just minutes off the route of the Montana Scenic Loop.
If you are looking for an exciting vacation with beautiful views then consider exploring Forest Service lands in the Northern Rockies for beautiful landscapes, scenic byways, historic trails and diverse wildlife. Read more »
The USDA Forest Service will join the public this Saturday, Sept. 25, for National Public Lands Day – the largest, annual, hands-on nationwide volunteer effort to improve America’s public lands. National Public Lands Day is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation with the support of the Forest Service and other federal agencies.
The event focuses on educating the public about the importance of natural resources and the need for shared stewardship on the land. Volunteer activities include: planting trees and vegetation, building and refurbishing trails, removing trash and invasive plants, repairing bridges, restoring historic structures, monitoring endangered species and restoring habitats. The Forest Service has over 80 project sites to date for volunteer initiatives across the country.