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 

Coldwater Fish in Warming Streams

Scientists and managers are concerned about the future of trout in the southern Appalachian Mountains, but what about anglers? Over 100,000 people enjoy trout fishing in north Georgia. U.S. Forest Service scientist J. Michael Bowker recently coauthored a study about how trout anglers perceive climate change risks to trout. The study was led by Ramesh…  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 

New Interactive Guide Tells the Story of Forest Products in the South

A new storymap developed by U.S. Forest Service researchers allows users to interactively chart the ebb and flow of forest products across the southern states — and visually tells the story of the decline of the forest products industry over the last decades. Using Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data loaded onto Esri’s (Environmental…  More 

Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax

Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2015 tax year are now available online. Prepared by Linda Wang, U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist. The information was updated on February 3, 2016. The second page contains an important change on Depreciation and Sec. 179 Expensing. More detailed information is available through a U.S. Department of…  More 

Drought, Fire, and Forests

The 2015 wildfire season was the costliest on record, with about $1.71 billion spent by the Forest Service on fighting fires. During one particular week in the summer of 2015, fire-fighting cost $1.6 million per hour. Most of the fires of 2015 hit western states like drought stricken California, where fire risk remains high due…  More 

Conserving the South’s Forests in a Rapidly Changing Future

Ensuring the sustainability of the world’s forest ecosystems in these times of rapid environmental, economic, social, and political change presents considerable challenges. In particular, rapid and unprecedented change portends a future where many of the principles and conditions that we’ve relied on to guide future management may never exist again, rendering traditional approaches to forest…  More