Purified clay needed!

Chase Earles, an award-winning Oklahoma potter, needed clay. The clay could not come from Winterville Mounds but needed to come from somewhere in Washington County, Mississippi. Winterville Mounds is a massive and pivotally important Pre-Columbian Native American site located in Washington County. Clay could not be dug from the mounds, as they are an archaeological…  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 

Trapping hogs one sounder at a time

Wild pigs are the largest invasive species in the U.S., and cost billions of dollars in damage to ecosystems and farms each year. New insights from the Savannah River Site are leading to better ways of managing them: whole sounder trapping, baiting strategies, and timing trapping efforts so that pigs are absent during critical portions…  More 

Top ten of 2021

We hope you enjoy this collection of the most popular CompassLive stories of 2021. Each article highlights the people, partnerships, and natural wonders of the South. For the past century, USDA Forest Service research has contributed to healthier, more sustainable southern forests.   ______________________ One acorn, two acorns, three acorns, four… How to evaluate acorn crops  Every year, state wildlife…  More 

Handbook for 30-year-old bottomland oak stands

Southern floodplain forest landowners can benefit from a new USDA Forest Service handbook of silvicultural practices for oaks planted on former croplands. The practical volume outlines the methods – and supporting science – for managing stands to produce high-quality oak sawtimber, improve wildlife habitat through acorn production, or an integrated approach for both timber and…  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 

Helping families keep & sustain land

Children often inherit their parents’ homes and land. But what if there is no will or estate plan? In such cases, state laws determine how real estate and other assets are divided. In most cases, property is passed to heirs in split shares. “Without a will, property is typically passed to heirs with a clouded…  More 

New Sapwood Challenges “Perfect Storm” of Pine Fungal Infection

Loblolly pine trees may tolerate some fungal infection if they can form new sapwood. USDA Forest Service plant physiologist Mary Anne Sword Sayer, on a team with Ph.D. candidate John K. Mensah of Auburn University’s Forest Health Cooperative, conducted two studies in Alabama, one of young trees and one of mature trees. Loblolly pine (Pinus…  More 

Research Sustains Ecosystem Services

From clean drinking water to sustainably harvested forest products and the region’s outdoor tourism industry, nature provides abundant benefits to people in the southern Appalachians. Benefits also include biodiversity, the sense of place found in forested landscapes, and much more. Ecological assessment is a key tool for understanding the role of private and public lands…  More 

Forests for Bats

“Almost all North American bats rely on forests for survival,” says Roger Perry, USDA Forest Service research wildlife biologist. Perry recently led the team that updated Forest Management and Bats, a booklet designed for private landowners and anyone managing forests. It was first published in 2006 by Bat Conservation International, and Daniel Taylor of BCI…  More