Heirs’ Property in the South

Children often inherit their parents’ homes and land. But what happens when there is no will or title? For many people, this is not an abstract question. “Heirs’ property is inherited land that two or more people own,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Cassandra Johnson Gaither. “The property is typically passed to heirs without a…  More 

Children Learn about Weather and Climate

A partnership between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station has led to the development of a second educational module for Cherokee youth. The first module focused on culturally significant plants, and was completed in 2015. The most recent module introduces children to climate, weather, and climate change.…  More 

Serra Hoagland’s Milestone Achievements

Serra Hoagland, biological scientist with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in May with a Ph.D. in forestry. In addition to receiving her Ph.D., she received the honor of being the first Native American to receive a doctoral degree in forestry from NAU, and is only the third…  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 

The Benefits of Forecasting Human-Ignited Wildfires

Fires set by people are a real problem for wildland fire managers on all types of land ownerships, including tribal lands. Because they usually occur closer to valued property and resources, human-set fires also tend to be more damaging than fires ignited naturally. Human-ignited wildfires fall into two categories – incendiary, or intentionally set fires,…  More 

Recovering from Laurel Wilt

Originally from Asia, the redbay ambrosia beetle and the fungus it carries in its jaws have found a new home in the southern United States. Eradication is impossible at this point, and the fungus causes laurel wilt, a highly destructive disease that affects redbay, swamp bay, sassafras, avocado, and pondberry – as well as every other…  More 

Teaching Cherokee Indian Youth about Culturally Important Plants

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) recently partnered to develop learning modules for children attending EBCI’s Snowbird Youth Center in Robbinsville, North Carolina. The youth center is part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cherokee. The plant module is the first learning module developed, and…  More 

Intertribal Timber Council Scholarships Connect Students with Forest Service Scientists

Climate change, groundwater, and air quality are just a few of the focus areas of the recipients of the Intertribal Timber Council (ITC) Native American Natural Resource Scholarships announced recently. Connecting these students with U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS)  scientists is a goal of the continuing ITC-SRS partnership. “These students are encouraged to reach out to…  More 

Tribal Fire Prevention Programs Work

Humans – either intentionally or accidentally — cause more than 55 percent of wildfires on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Department of Interior. Federal agencies try to prevent wildfire and reduce the high costs associated with it through fire prevention activities that include burn permits, public service programs, outreach efforts, and law…  More 

New Partnership With Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Protects Natural and Cultural Resources

Climate change is upon us, and communities who use wild-harvested native plants for food, medicine, and cultural practices are identifying ways to protect their natural and cultural resources. The need to prepare for further climate change in the future and mitigate its effects on natural resources in the Southern Appalachian region has led to a…  More