Ghost stories illustration by Mary Horning, US Forest Service.
Shadows start falling fast while you scurry to gather the last scraps of dead wood before it’s too dark – and too scary – to leave the relative security of the campsite on your favorite National Forest or Grassland. But, once the fire is safely lit, everyone gathers around to start roasting marshmallows and listen to…ghost stories!
No one really knows when or how the tradition of telling scary ghost stories around a campfire began. It just did, and we really like to do it. In fact, there are many books out there that provide those with less creative story telling talents to get a group of outdoors enthusiasts nervously shifting their eyes and jumping at the sound of what was certainly a twig being broken by the heavy foot of a monstrous creature in the night or, yes, even a clumsy ghost. Read more »
Gopher Tortoise. Photo by Dirk Stevenson of the Orianne Society.
Did you know the Forest Legacy Program is the only federal grant program focused on the permanent protection of important private forestland, conserving over 2.5 million acres to date?
This incentive-based and voluntary program managed by the U.S. Forest Service conserves working forests and environmental benefits for communities. It does this through land acquisition and conveyance to state management as well as through the establishment of conservation easements that allow families to maintain ownership of their land. Read more »
Forest Service employee, Michaela Hall, rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River adjacent to Glacier National Park in Montana.
In an era of social media mania, forests around the country are opening their doors to reacquaint kids and parents with good old fashion family fun—without the aid of modern technology.
On Saturday, June 11, the U.S. Forest Service invites families to join thousands of forest explorers for a free, fun-packed day of outdoor adventures in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day. Read more »
Forests and wood products are powerful tools to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. (Click to view a larger version)
Trees do plenty of work to sequester carbon on their own, but many forests are not as healthy as they should be due to fire suppression and climate change. This can leave trees vulnerable to large scale insect damage, fire or drought, and much of the carbon stored by forests is lost to the atmosphere as trees die.
The U.S. Forest Service is committed to the storage of carbon using wood products through the green building and wood products strategy. This strategy involves putting people to work in rural communities, enhancing resiliency of our ecosystems, and sequestering carbon by promoting the use of wood products in large building construction. Read more »
The Bogus Creek Fire burns in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska, June 7, 2015. Photo credit: Matt Snyder-Alaska Division of Forestry
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that wildfires are more common during hot, dry summers. The area burned in the United States in 2015, over 10 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, occurred during a record temperature year for the Earth, plus record low snowpack and rainfall in some areas of the West.
The sizzling weather of 2015 was similar to what global climate models project for the year 2060. Last year’s weather and fire may become the new normal later in the 21st century. Read more »
The air is clean above and the water is clear below in the Allegheny National Forest’s Allegheny Reservoir in Pennsylvania. Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service
Something we do every day for survival is something we often take for granted – breathing. And a very important component of breathing is clean air. Air quality has a direct effect not only on the health of people, but also ecosystems.
The Air Program in the Eastern and Southern regions of the U.S. Forest Service oversees a resource that affects and integrates with other resources, from smoke management to watersheds and wilderness to recreation and vegetation. Read more »