Anna Jones-Crabtree and Doug Crabtree discuss soil health with NRCS Soil Conservationist Amy Kaiser. NRCS photo.
When Anna Jones-Crabtree and Doug Crabtree founded Vilicus Farms in 2009, they snagged the farm’s name from Latin, as “vilicus” means steward. Anna and Doug are definitely stewards of their 1,200-acre organic farm near Havre, Mont.
In a region where wheat is the primary crop and stretches as far as the eye can see, Vilicus Farms is unique. They work on a five-year rotation of about 15 different crops, including flax, lentils, oats, red spring wheat, durum, sweet clover, vetch, peas, rye, winter wheat, buckwheat, safflower, sunflower, spring peas and chickling vetch.
The farm is divided into strips about one mile long and 240 feet wide, and the Crabtrees grow one crop in each strip. Between the strips are untilled sections of native grazing land that serve as buffers to catch snow in the winter for added moisture. Read more »
National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Here, volunteers perform trail maintenance. U.S. Forest Service Photo.
The crisp fall air provides an invigorating environment for outdoor activity. What better time to visit and volunteer on our national forests and grasslands than on Sept. 28, for the 20th annual National Public Lands Day and second annual National Tribal Lands Day. This is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation. This year’s theme is: “Helping Hands for America’s Lands.”
National Public Lands Day is one of six fee-free days in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Get Outdoors Day, and Veterans Day Weekend. Fees are waived generally for day use, such as picnic areas, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Fees are not waived for concessionaire-operated facilities or for overnight use such as camping or recreation rentals. Read more »
Most people wouldn’t associate sand dunes with a forest, but on the central Oregon Coast, the Siuslaw National Forest is home for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – 40 miles of wind-sculpted, shifting sands towering up to 500 feet above sea level.
Formed by the ancient forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no others in the world. This is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and they provide numerous recreational opportunities with thick “tree islands,” open dunes, marsh-like deflation plains and beaches. Read more »
As spring awakens across the country, outdoor recreation enthusiasts are beginning to look again for opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. America’s spectacular national forests and national grasslands provide some of the greatest opportunities for outdoor recreation in the world.
The emerald ash borer, highly destructive to ash trees, is one of the most destructive non-native insects in the U.S. Photo credit: Invasive.org
But these beautiful and inspiring natural places are also under attack from hundreds of invasive plants, animals and pathogens. These exotic invaders disrupt natural ecological balance and can negatively impact the quality of outdoor recreation experiences. Invasives can threaten human health and safety and possibly reduce access to some areas. Read more »