The Mid-South Forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas

Like most regions of the U.S., the future of the Mid-South forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas is one of challenge. A report by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station outlines those challenges and presents options for managing forests over the next half century. The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as…  More 

In Arkansas, Fall Tree Roosts Help Male Indiana Bats Survive Hibernation

“Two resources are most important to bats in the eastern U.S.,” says U.S. Forest Service biologist Roger Perry. “Roosts – places they can safely spend daylight hours – and insects for food.” Because roosts also allow bats to sink into torpor, a state of lowered metabolism and energy usage, roosts may be as important for…  More 

Laurel Wilt Continues to Spread

The redbay laurels that once graced the coastal forests and residential landscapes of the Southeast have all but disappeared, taken down by laurel wilt, a deadly disease caused by a fungus (Raffaelea lauricola) carried in the jaws of the nonnative redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). Both beetle and fungus apparently arrived from Asia through the…  More 

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 

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 

Bringing Bottomland Forests Back to the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

The vast Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) that stretches along the Mississippi River from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico once supported 24 million acres of bottomland and wetland forest — rich stands of oak, gum, ash, hickory, baldcypress, and water tupelo. The hydrology of the original floodplain was drastically altered by flood-control levees built…  More 

Tribes and the U.S. Forest Service Strengthen Partnerships

Tribal Nations and the U.S. Forest Service recently met at the 14th annual To Bridge a Gap meeting to share scientific research and traditional ecological knowledge, while discussing strategies for managing cultural and natural resources in the National Forests. The meeting was held from March 30 – April 2, and was hosted by the Eastern…  More 

Mississippi Alluvial Valley Forests: The Next 50 Years

The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as an effort to study and understand the various forces reshaping the forests across the 13 states of the Southeast. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station (SRS) along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the project examined a variety…  More 

The Status of Ash Species in Selected Southern States

A new Science Update  from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) provides the latest data on ash tree (Fraxinus spp.) species in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The emerald ash borer, an introduced Asian beetle species first detected in Michigan in 2002, has spread throughout the northeastern U.S. and into the southern states…  More 

Driving OHVs through Streams

Millions of people enjoy nature while riding all-terrain vehicles, utility or recreational off-highway vehicles, or off-highway motorcycles. Collectively, these vehicles are called off-highway vehicles or OHVs, and in the southeastern U.S. – especially in Arkansas – much of this vehicle use occurs on U.S. Forest Service lands or other public lands. In Arkansas, increased off-highway…  More