Your home stores carbon for decades

Wood is infinitely useful. Look around, and you’ll find it in all sorts of places, from cardboard boxes to pianos. It is even used in some frames for bikes and cars. If you live in the U.S., wood was also likely used to build your home. All these wood-based items are valuable to people in…  More 

Wildfires on a warmer planet

Wildfires are projected to burn three times as much area on federal lands by the end of the century, as compared to previous decades. Furthermore, across all climate scenarios, median federal spending for wildfire suppression is projected nearly triple, translating into a $3.70 billion increase compared to historic spending over the same time frame. The…  More 

Long-term impact of hurricanes on forest markets and carbon storage

Hurricanes have long-term impacts on forest markets and the welfare of landowners in areas hit the hardest. They also disrupt carbon storage processes in forests. USDA Forest Service scientist Jesse Henderson recently published a study in Forest Policy and Economics that showed replanting trees after disasters like Hurricane Michael is the best way to foster…  More 

A supply, demand primer

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, prices of processed wood products, such as softwood lumber and plywood, nearly quadrupled. Wholesale prices for plywood increased from $400 to $1,500 per thousand square feet (roughly equivalent to retail prices of plywood increasing from about $12.80 to $48.00 per sheet). Forest Service Senior Research Forester and…  More 

Payments for ecosystem services

People who own forested land may be able to sell the ecosystem services the land provides. Hunting leases are one example. For the years 2010-2019, payments for hunting leases, wildlife viewing fees, and other such services averaged $1.5 billion a year, as USDA Forest Service research economist Greg Frey and his colleagues estimate. Markets for…  More 

Climate change worsens heatwaves

Since the 1980s, climate change has increased the impact of heatwaves. They arrive earlier, last longer, have higher temperatures, and cover wider areas. Their effects across the globe, however, vary by location and income level. USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon contributed to a study, led by Mohammad Reza Alizadeh at McGill University, that shows…  More 

Fighting future fires

Climate change threatens communities around the world with the promise of more floods, drought, extreme heat, hurricanes – and wildfire. As these events increase in frequency, they will add new pressures to the federal budget. The USDA Forest Service has already taken proactive steps to mitigate some of these impacts. The agency recently established a…  More 

Decreasing development on forest and agricultural land partly driven by gas prices

A new study found a steep decline in the development of forest and agricultural land from 2000 to 2015 compared to the previous two decades. This decline resulted in a broad shift towards denser development patterns throughout the U.S. Researchers from Oregon State University, Montana State University, and the USDA Forest Service found that falling…  More 

Timber Tax Tips can help forest owners realize potential tax benefits

Family forests provide many valuable goods and services that extend beyond their boundaries, including clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. Although owners of forested land usually don’t get paid directly for those benefits, there are tax incentives that can be associated with management activities. Landowners often do not know that reforestation, timber…  More 

Defining the U.S. land base in support of the Resources Planning Act Assessment

By analyzing non-Federal land use trends, USDA Forest Service researchers, including Mark Nelson of the Northern Research Station, Kurt Riitters of SRS, and others from across the agency, found that developed land use in the South nearly doubled over the past 30 years, from 25.3 million acres in 1982 to 45.6 million acres in 2012. Their…  More