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 

Controlling the Spread of Callery Pear

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) can be found across most of the eastern U.S. and in a few western states as well. The nonnative tree was brought to the U.S. in 1917 by a USDA employee searching for a blight-resistant species that could be bred with European pear to increase fruit production. The most common Callery…  More 

Managing Oak-Pine Stands

About half of southern forests are a mix of oaks and pines growing side by side. In the past, getting rid of either the oaks or the pines had been a common management goal. “Pine plantations – stands with no oaks – have become one of the most recognizable symbols of forest management,” says John…  More 

Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Guides for Land Managers

Climate change appears to be increasing the severity of hurricanes – and perhaps their frequency. Southern forest, farm, and ranch landowners need to prepare and plan for hurricane impacts. The USDA Southeast Climate Hub surveyed hurricane preparedness and recovery resources and identified a need for centralized guidance that is complete and consistent. The Hub teamed…  More 

How Do Weather, Insects, and Diseases Impact Forests? It Depends

Forests of the southern U.S. are among the most productive and intensively managed in the world. Disturbances naturally alter forest stands, sometimes creating conditions that benefit plant or animal communities, but can cause major economic losses to landowners. What’s more, the impacts from one disturbance may invite other disturbances – dead and damaged trees can…  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