Fire Research: A Hot Topic

For centuries landowners in the southern Appalachians have used fire as a tool to clear land, control insects, encourage forage, and eliminate unwanted vegetation. But little is known about how fire affects regeneration of oak or other hardwood trees, and how it can be used to meet specific management or restoration goals for upland hardwood…  More 

Jim Guldin Selected as Outstanding Penn State Forest Resources Alumni

On April 19, Jim Guldin, project leader of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Southern Pine Ecology and Management unit, was recognized as one of four recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Forest Resources Alumni Group. The Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management,…  More 

The Problem with Longleaf Pine Seeds

Do the Math In 1963, from his work on the Escambia Experimental Forest (Escambia), U.S. Forest Service research forester (now emeritus) Bill Boyer developed the formula for longleaf pine seed dispersal that became one of the foundations for the natural regeneration of the species. Natural regeneration—literally allowing seedlings to sprout wherever seeds fall— seems the intuitive choice…  More 

New Business for a Small Alabama Town

Economic conditions from 2005 to 2010 meant bad news for much of the South’s forest industry, accelerating mill closings and job losses in small towns across the southern United States. Recently, the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station worked with a leading manufacturer to bring good news…  More 

McDonough Wins Engineer of the Year

  Mark McDonough, station engineer for the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), was recently named Managerial Engineer of the Year for 2012 in recognition of his leadership in sustainable operations and products, implementation of valuable engineering strategies, and the successful management of one of the largest capital improvements programs in Forest Service Research…  More 

Indiana Bats and Prescribed Fire

A two-day workshop held in western North Carolina provided research results to forest and natural resource managers concerned about maintaining summer habitat for the endangered Indiana bat. Attended by over 60 people from federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and a private consultant, the workshop focused on identifying summer maternity habitat for the species in…  More 

Eucalyptus in the South

Because it grows rapidly and can develop high wood density, there’s increasing interest in the South for growing Eucalyptus commercially as a bioenergy feedstock. For the South, this means finding and testing Eucalyptus species that will grow in temperate areas as well as genetically modified hybrids bred to be frost tolerant. Growing well under a…  More 

Fourth Graders Explore Forest Ecology and Management at the Escambia Experimental Forest

Fourth grade students from the W.S. Neal Elementary School in East Brewton, Alabama, recently visited the Escambia Experimental Forest (The Escambia) to get first-hand experience with the plants and animals of the longleaf pine ecosystem. After several days of instruction about the history and ecological significance of longleaf pine from guidance counselor Marina Chancery, 100…  More 

The Science Behind Wildfire Prevention

According to the U.S. Forest Service National Climate Assessment now being finalized, by 2050 the area burned each year by severe wildfires will rise to 20 million acres nationwide, at least double of what it is now. Because many of those future fires are likely to burn under severe fire conditions, preventing people from starting…  More 

Are Black Cohosh Harvests Sustainable?

In Southern Appalachians forests, harvests of non-timber forest products—plants used for culinary, floral, medicinal and other purposes—just keep increasing. Though overharvesting seems to be a major cause for population declines in plants such as American ginseng, black cohosh, and other medicinal plants, forest managers have lacked methods that would allow them to measure the extent…  More