Highlighting Heirs’ Property Ownership and Land Loss

A USDA Forest Service publication on heirs’ property ownership across the southern U.S. highlights a kind of land ownership prevalent among lower wealth, African Americans in the Black Belt South, central Appalachian whites, and Hispanic Americans in U.S. southwest colonia communities. A meeting co-hosted by the Southern Research Station and the Federal Reserve Bank of…  More 

Groundwater Recharge in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley

The Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley is a floodplain that spans seven states. It is suffering from groundwater depletion – a long-term water level decline due to human use. Irrigation and overuse of water resources have led to a seven meter drop in groundwater levels from 1987 to 2014. Water from precipitation and other sources…  More 

Inventorying an ‘Industrial Flora’

Shipping containers are stacked like Legos. From all over the world, they have arrived at the Garden City Terminal, at the Port of Savannah in Georgia. About a third of the plant species growing there are also from around the world – they are non-native. Some are new to Georgia and the U.S. altogether. That’s…  More 

Timing Prescribed Fire to Maximize Longleaf Pine Growth

Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) needs fire to thrive. But if seedlings burn too late in the growing season, they may not have enough energy to re-grow their scorched leaves and replenish their starch reserves before spring of the next year. “When seedlings are so short that a prescribed fire is likely to scorch all of…  More 

FIA in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The 49th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Agrifest, was held on the island of St. Croix in February. Agrifest is the largest agriculture and food explosion and celebration in the Caribbean – drawing thousands of fairgoers from around the world. USDA Forest Service scientists Tom Brandeis, Humfredo Marcano-Vega, and Kathleen…  More 

Fourth Inventory of U.S. Virgin Islands’ Forests

The forest and urban inventory in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is expanding. Through its Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), the USDA Forest Service has collected data in the USVI since the mid-1990s. FIA data on trees, soils, and other forest characteristics have been critical in establishing a baseline and understanding trends of forest…  More 

Coastal Forests Face Rising Sea Levels, Increased Salinity

Ghost forests aren’t some spooky legend. They’re patches of dead and dying trees that haunt the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia where sea levels are rising and land is sinking. USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service scientists are working with partners across the coastal plain to understand where these watery…  More 

African American Forest Landowners: Overcoming Obstacles

African American landowners have had a historically difficult time becoming engaged in forestry due to a number of factors, including discrimination. Another factor is heirs’ property, which refers to land that has been passed down informally from generation to generation without a will. This often means that distant relatives co-own a piece of land, and…  More 

Hurricane Michael Recovery Focus of State Line Meeting

In May, state foresters from Florida and Georgia, along with their staffs, personnel from the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, the Apalachicola National Forest, and Tall Timbers gathered at the Wakulla Environmental Institute in Crawfordville, Florida for a State Line meeting. Participants discussed Hurricane Michael impacts, recovery, and challenges that the agencies are facing…  More 

Southern Silvopasture

Viewed over the span of human history, the current separation of agriculture and forested lands is a recent construct. However, integrating forestry and agricultural practices offers opportunities for benefits. Combining forests and pastures, for example, allows trees and livestock to be raised for profit on the same plot of land, and the trees offer shade…  More