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 

Forest Service Co-Sponsors Minority Landowner Magazine Conference

The annual Minority Landowner Magazine conference is a favorite among small and limited resource landowners. This year’s seventh anniversary conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, themed “Keeping Your Farm Productive, Profitable and Yours,” engaged more than 250 participants, including federal, state, university, and private agencies and organizations sharing information to help maintain family farms. What keeps…  More 

Futures Report Charts Changes for Southern Forests

  High elevation forest in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Photo by Zoe Hoyle. The Southern Forest Futures Project started in 2008 with a series of public meetings across the South to gather perceptions and input about the future of the regions forests. Project leaders then used expert analysis and models to forecast and interpret changes…  More 

Electronic Noses and Forests

What if a machine could detect insects and diseases in living trees or help prevent log theft and illegal logging by tracking individual logs from the forest to the lumberyard? What about a machine that researchers could use to identify and understand the ecological roles of microorganisms, insects and other invertebrates that live in and…  More 

Risk Analysis Journal Honors Eastern Threat Center Research

Two scientific papers co-authored by U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center researchers and featured in the journal Risk Analysis are recognized for their contributions to the field of ecological risk assessment. In a special journal issue, Risk Analysis editor Wayne Landis selected 25 key papers published in the journal since its founding…  More 

Kudzu: The Guest That Just Won’t Leave

Spring is right around the corner, and in the South, “all eyes turn to kudzu as it awakes,” says James Miller, research ecologist (emeritus) for the U.S. Forest Service Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants unit. Introduced to United States at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, kudzu was touted as a quick-growing ornamental vine with…  More 

From the Hexacopter: A Bird’s Eye View on Fire

What would you find out if you could hover a hundred feet above a prescribed fire? As you might have noticed, smoke from burning trees rises quickly, especially if there’s wind. Getting measurements of smoke once it gets above the canopy is very difficult, and up to now, very expensive. Scientists from the U.S. Forest…  More 

Forest Operations Unit Hosts SALHI Workshop

On Tuesday, March 26, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Operations Research unit in Auburn, Alabama, hosted attendees of the 2013 Sale Area Layout and Harvesting Institute (SALHI) for an introduction to harvesting and forest operations research. While visiting the G.W. Andrews Forestry Sciences Lab, SALHI attendees heard presentations from  Dana Mitchell, acting…  More