Rising Temperatures Permit Expansion of Southern Pine Beetle Into New Jersey

The New York Times recently ran a front page story about the damaging spread of southern pine beetle through the New Jersey Pinelands. The article included an interview with Dartmouth biologist Matt Ayres, who talked about how rising temperatures allowed the insect pest to thrive in an area where cold winters once killed it. Ayres’…  More 

Korean Forests Gain Ground with U.S. Forest Service Support

Korean forest scientists know all too well how degraded forests affect ecosystems and people. During the 20th century, unsustainable harvesting and conversion of forests to cropland caused “serious social and environmental problems like lack of fuel, severe flooding, and droughts,” according to the Korea Forest Service. In the 1970s, the country began a widespread forest…  More 

Reflections on the Southern Forest Futures Project

In 2008, we started the Southern Forest Futures Project with 15 public workshops held in each of the 13 States of our region. In Baton Rouge, Asheville, Stillwater, Charleston, and all the other locations, we discussed and compiled the concerns of more than 700 resource professionals and other interested  citizens regarding the great and vast…  More 

Protect Ash Trees: Don’t Move Firewood!

  Emerald ash borer was recently detected in Georgia, making it the 21st state invaded by the non-native pest that attacks all members of the ash genera. First found in Michigan in 2002, the insect has since spread south (and north into Canada), mainly on wood moved long distances. The number one strategy for preventing…  More 

Kudzu: The Guest That Just Won’t Leave

Spring is right around the corner, and in the South, “all eyes turn to kudzu as it awakes,” says James Miller, research ecologist (emeritus) for the U.S. Forest Service Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants unit. Introduced to United States at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, kudzu was touted as a quick-growing ornamental vine with…  More 

Emerald Ash Borers Invade Southeastern Forests

  The emerald ash borer is one of the most destructive forest pests introduced to North America in recent years. Adult beetles merely nibble on the leaves of native ash trees, but their larvae burrow through the inner bark of the tree, leaving a trail of snaky galleries that permanently scar the tree and make…  More 

Fragmented Forests

The Southern Forest Resource Assessment published by the Southern Research Station defined forest fragmentation as the breaking up of large, contiguous (touching one another) forested tracts into smaller or less contiguous tracts. This means that forests become islands or peninsulas — patches of woods disconnected from one another by roads, farms, suburbs, cities, and other…  More 

Interior Forest on the Wane in the United States

Interior forest, which can be simply defined as forest area surrounded by more forest, supports a wide range of plants and animals that do not thrive in forest edges or the small patches of woods left by human activities. Many of the nations most important rivers originate in interior forest, which also shelters municipal watersheds and…  More 

Secretary’s Honor Award for Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program

On September 12, the team leading the Forest Health Protection Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program received a 2012 USDA Secretary’s Honor Award. Key members of the group are John Nowak (team leader), Don Duerr, Wes Nettleton, and Linda Brett from Forest Service, Region 8, and Kier Klepzig, Assistant Director for Research at the Southern Research Station. …  More 

New Guide to Woodwasps of the Western Hemisphere

Includes DNA barcodes for early detection of major pests The North American forest community reacted with alarm when specimens of Sirex noctilio Fabricius were found in New York State in 2004.  Native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, S. noctilio—a species of woodwasp in the family Siricidae—is fairly benign in its native range, but as a…  More