Expanding the Reach of Forest Data and Research with Story Maps

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit is increasing the interactivity and reach of forest science by using FIA and other data to create storymaps on topics that range from southern forest products to white-nose syndrome. Developed on Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform, storymaps are stand-alone web-based resources that…  More 

When Privet’s Removed, Native Plants and Pollinators Return

Forests infested with privet invoke a kind of despair in people attuned to the problem of invasive plants. Privet invades a forest quickly, sprawling across the understory and growing into thickets that crowd out native plants and change the very ecology of an area. Even if the woody shrub can be removed effectively, can a…  More 

How Healthy Are Your Pines?

Seventeen percent of the world’s industrial roundwood comes from U.S. forests – and southern pine forests are among the most productive in the country. Pine plantations in the South often anchor local and regional economies while providing ecosystem services such as clean water and air, and countless recreation benefits. “Forests are an integral part of…  More 

A Graduation Milestone and a Special Gift Honor a Father’s Wisdom

Throughout her life, Serra Hoagland’s father has told her, “When a door opens, don’t be afraid to walk through.” Back in 2011, when Serra had just received her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she traveled to Minnesota to attend the Intertribal Timber Council’s (ITC) annual symposium.…  More 

A New View of the Forest Canopy of the Smokies

Researchers working at the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center office in Asheville, North Carolina, are just a short drive away from one of the most biodiverse places on the planet: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles 800 square miles of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Although they and…  More 

Climate and Society Will Determine the Future of Wildfire in the South

A new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators projects a four percent increase overall in acres burned by wildfire in the Southeast by 2060, but with substantial uncertainties and large variations by state and ecoregion, including a 34 percent increase in acres burned due to lightning-caused fires. The study, just published in the…  More 

Our Dry, Warm Future may Favor Oaks

Historically, many oak forests across the eastern U.S. experienced frequent low-intensity fires that promoted the establishment and growth of oaks. “However, fire and other disturbances have become less common,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist James Vose. “Red maple, tulip poplar, and other mesophytic, fire-sensitive, and shade-tolerant trees are increasing in many areas of the eastern…  More 

Water Planning for the South in the New Fire Age

The ability to provide fresh drinking water is a critical ecosystem service of forests, and for many households in the southeastern United States, forests are the only source of municipal water supply. About 32 percent of the Southeast’s total annual water supply originates on state and private forest lands and another 3.4 percent on National Forest System…  More 

Water Yields from Southern Appalachian Watersheds in Decline since the 1970s

Where would we be without the water we get from cool mountain streams? In the densely populated southeastern U.S., forested watersheds are particularly important to drinking water supplies. Recent estimates show that southern forests deliver surface drinking water to some 48.7 million people, with streams from the mountainous Southern Appalachian region alone providing water supplies…  More 

Science Partners Launch “Ecosystem Benefits and Risks” Website

The Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and the U.S. Forest Service are releasing products from the first phase of an ongoing study assessing benefits of and risks to the region’s “ecosystem services” — natural assets valued by people, such as clean drinking water, outdoor recreation, forest products, and biological conservation. A wealth of data, maps, and…  More