It’s Ramp Festival Time in the Southern Appalachians

In the Appalachian Mountains, spring really starts with ramps and ramp festivals. Also known as wild leeks, ramps (Allium tricoccum) have been described as having a flavor that falls somewhere between that of garlic, onions, and scallions. While the taste is sweet, the pungent smell of ramps — and of those who’ve eaten them —…  More 

Who Will Own Southern Forests in the Future?

Forest ownership in the South has changed substantially over the past decade, raising questions about future landowner objectives and approaches to forest management — and ultimately about the retention of forest lands. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the Southern Forest Futures…  More 

Helping African American Rural Landowners Keep Family Forests

After the Civil War, African Americans were deeded or bought property across the South, but at that time they often lacked the money for — or were denied access to — legal resources. As a result, much of this land was passed down through the generations without the benefit of a written will or title and…  More 

What’s Wilderness Worth?

In 1964, Congress protected areas where, according to the Wilderness Act, “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Wilderness areas now cover approximately 5 percent of the United States – over 100 million acres. While the ecological and aesthetic value of…  More 

Austin’s Urban Forest

In late February, the U.S. Forest Service published its first urban forest assessment for Austin, Texas. Using Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, Austin’s Urban Forest 2014 provides details on the composition and health of the city’s urban forest and the benefits it provides. According to the report, Austin’s trees provide almost $34…  More 

Help for Forest Landowners: Estate Planning

Family forest owners may use consulting foresters or state extension foresters for advice on the technical details of land management, but many owners shy away from seeking help with how best to pass their forest land on to the next generation. Poor estate planning — or no planning at all — can result in the next generation inheriting…  More 

In the Southeast, Who’s in the Path of Smoke Plumes?

For more than 30 years, researchers have known that poor communities and people of color in the U.S. are more likely to be affected by environmental threats such as landfills and toxic waste sites. “Are these socially vulnerable communities also exposed to more smoke from wildfires and prescribed fires?” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Cassandra…  More 

Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia

A newly published research study by U.S. Forest Service researchers demonstrates that the social vulnerability indices used in climate change and natural hazards research can also be used in other contexts such as disease outbreaks. Authors of the article include Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers John Stanturf, Scott Goodrick, Mel Warren, and Christie…  More 

U.S. Forest Service & the University of Texas at San Antonio

A recent agreement between the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will provide funding to support the newly established Educating Youth in Environmental Science Program (EYES). SRS is contributing $24,000 towards the program, which will provide environmental learning opportunities for children in San Antonio, Texas. Ultimately, the…  More 

Linking Water, Forests, & Communities in Atlanta: Part 3

Proctor Creek snakes through downtown Atlanta and eventually works its way north to the Chattahoochee River. In 2013, Proctor Creek was named one of 11 new projects of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, an innovative union of 13 federal agencies that focus on both natural resources and economic development. As a part of the partnership,…  More