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.
Nicola Macpherson is the owner of Ozark Forest Mushrooms in Salem, Missouri. With the assistance of her state’s forestry agency, a Forest Stewardship Plan was developed to help her sustainably manage the forest and produce wholesome mushroom products at the same time.
Imagine an open field of vegetables and greens, exposed to the sun and the wind on the outskirts of your town. Now imagine a row of trees sheltering the crops from hot dry winds and producing more marketable melons than in open fields; more snap beans earlier and later in the season when prices are higher. Read more »
Huge banners extolling the pillars of the IUFRO World Congress greet the 1100-plus attendees to this international gathering in Seoul, Korea. (IUFRO photo)
Almost a four dozen USDA Forest Service researchers and staff members represent the United States among more than 3000 participants at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress underway this week in Seoul, Korea. The conference theme is “Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment”, and conference organizers are expressing the hope that this Congress will present a crucial opportunity to promote understanding of the contributions of forests and forest science to the Earth’s sustainability. Read more »