Drought, Insects, and Oak Decline

Recent research by university and U.S. Forest Service scientists suggests that the traditional sequence of events and factors involved in forest decline may be changing in relation to climate conditions. To look more closely at patterns of decline linked to drought and insect attacks, the researchers analyzed the unprecedented oak death event that took place…  More 

Ephemeral Wetlands and Climate Change: Implications for Frogs and Toads

Many frog and toad species live on land as adults, but their lives always begin in water. Depending on the species, dozens or hundreds of eggs, bound together into a gelatinous glob or string, are laid in a pond, puddle, or marsh. When frogs and toads spawn in waters inhabited by fish, many of the…  More 

Restoring Shortleaf Pine in the Southern Appalachians

On July 29-30, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists (CAFMS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) hosted a workshop in Asheville, North Carolina, to discuss threats, barriers, and successes in relation to the restoration of shortleaf pine in the southern Appalachians. Over 80 participants from national forests and parks, state agencies, and nongovernmental organizations from…  More 

Burning the Leafy Blanket: Winter Prescribed Fire and Litter-Roosting Bats

Rather than hibernating in caves, some bat species in the southeastern U.S. get through the coldest parts of winter by roosting under fallen leaves, twigs, and other dead plant material on the forest floor. Although this leaf litter protects bats from the cold, it could also put them at risk of being injured or killed…  More 

The Future of the Francis Marion’s Coastal Forests

When Hurricane Hugo hit the coast of South Carolina in September of 1989, the Francis Marion National Forest (Francis Marion) suffered a devastating blow. Sixty percent of its pine trees sustained moderate or heavy damage, and its bottomland hardwood trees fared even worse: 43 percent were broken and 43 percent were uprooted. At that time,…  More 

Changing Forest Conditions and Pollinator Decline

“Forests in North America have changed rapidly during the past century,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Jim Hanula. Before European settlement, forests were a mosaic of open pine and hardwood forests, prairies, and woodland savannas. Recent studies have found that forests with sun-filled openings and those with open canopies (where the branches from adjacent trees…  More 

Environmental Education on the National Forest in Georgia

In 2010, the Obama Administration launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to conserve public lands and promote outdoor recreation. It also encourages community-based recreation programs to engage people where they live, learn, and play. Along similar lines, the U.S. Forest Service has a Kids in the Woods program to support youth nature programs. Recently the…  More 

Taking the Long View at the Francis Marion National Forest

The Francis Marion National Forest (Francis Marion) is currently revising its land and resource management plan under the National Forest System 2012 Planning Rule. The new rule requires climate change be taken into account and supports an adaptive framework based on science, public values, and the all-lands context for resource management. Located adjacent to the…  More 

Planning for Future Forests with Help from the TACCIMO Tool

From the North Carolina mountains to South Carolina’s coastal plain to the tropics of Puerto Rico, climate change is on the minds of forest planners. National forest planning teams in these areas are among the first few to revise their land and resource management plans under the U.S. Forest Service’s new Planning Rule released in…  More 

TACCIMO: Making Science Accessible for Forest Planners

In early 2009, a group of researchers led by Steve McNulty, team leader with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, partnered directly with forest planners from across the Southern Region of the National Forest System  to start looking at what needed to be done to address the looming problems posed by climate change. A…  More