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 

Novel forestry outreach shows success

In 2012, the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations to create an award-winning program to help landowners address heirs’ property, land retention, and natural resource justice issues. The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program (SFLR) has become a model for addressing issues faced by…  More 

Webinar Series on Forests & Food Across the Globe

A new webinar series explores the value of the food and medicine forests provide. “Many Americans eat berries, nuts, and edible mushrooms from forests,” says Jim Chamberlain, USDA Forest Service researcher. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food are gathered from public lands. Chamberlain is organizing the webinar series as part of his…  More 

Shifting to a Bioeconomy

Forests and trees have always been crucial to people’s food security, nutrition, and culinary cultural identity. With a steadily growing world population, one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century will be increasing food production while maintaining worldwide forest health and biodiversity. “I have come to realize that we, forest management experts, don’t…  More 

Top Ten of 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, it is a good time to gather our most-read CompassLive stories from the past year. Each one highlights the work of USDA Forest Service scientists at the Southern Research Station. We hope you enjoy reading this collection, which includes the most popular of 2020 plus a few more that…  More 

Forest Landowners and State Property Tax Programs

Every state in the U.S. has a property tax program that lowers taxes for forest landowners. Greg Frey and Stephanie Snyder of the USDA Forest Service, with Justin Meier, Michael Kilgore, and Charlie Blinn of the University of Minnesota recently published two papers that build on their previous analysis of all fifty state property tax…  More