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 »
Participants in the climate change adaptation workshop. Photo credit: Joseph Vorgetts
All this month we will be taking a look at what a changing climate means to Agriculture. The ten regional USDA Climate Hubs were established to synthesize and translate climate science and research into easily understood products and tools that land managers can use to make climate-informed decisions. The Hubs work at the regional level with an extensive network of trusted USDA agency partners, technical service providers, University collaborators, and private sector advisers to ensure they have the information they need to respond to producers that are dealing with the effects of a variable climate. USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate.
How important will climate change considerations be in your work in the next 3-5 years? That was one of the questions USDA employees were asked in mid-April at the start of a two-day workshop at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in Riverdale, Maryland. The hands-on training session, facilitated by APHIS’ Climate Change Working Group, the Forest Service, Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, was designed to help APHIS employees from various program and support units incorporate climate change considerations into their actual projects. 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 »