New Forest, New Water Yield

Today, forests abound in the southern Appalachians. However, there was a time in the early 1900s when many forests were harvested or cleared so that the land could be used to grow crops or provide pasture. “The forests that have returned may use water differently,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Katherine Elliott. Elliott and…  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 

After the Acid Rain

“Rain has become much less acidic since the Clean Air Act was strengthened in the 1990s,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) soil scientist Jennifer Knoepp. “However, some high elevation streams still have chronic or episodic acidity.” Acid rain, as well as other forms of acidic deposition such as acid fog and acid…  More 

Selecting Trees to Grow in Cities

Sometimes in the cramped environs of U.S. cities every inch counts, especially if attempting to make space for nature. City planners and urban foresters now have a resource to more precisely select tree species whose growth will be a landscaping dream instead of a maintenance nightmare. The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station recently…  More 

Digging up Past Connections at Bent Creek

A rock protruding through the grass in the lawn at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest was the beginning of a part time, amateur archaeology “dig” for Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) employee, Linda Benz. It is well known that rocks and whirling lawn mower blades are a bad combination, so when Linda noticed an exposed…  More 

Black Belt Forestry

After the Civil War, former African American slaves were deeded or bought property across the South, but in subsequent years often lacked the money for — or were denied access to – the legal resources needed to establish title to the land. As a result, much of this land was passed down through following generations…  More 

Paris of the South, Beer City — and Now Climate City

A recent conference titled “Measure Locally, Respond Globally” brought 35 journalists to Asheville, North Carolina, to learn more about what researchers and entrepreneurs are doing to address climate change — and may have also sparked a new nickname for the city of Asheville. The conference, held August 15 and 16, was sponsored by the National Association of…  More 

Bees and Butterflies: Celebrating the Small and Mighty

Bees, beetles, butterflies, and other creatures shuttle pollen between flowers in the vital process of pollination. Without pollinators, most flowering plants would be unable to reproduce, and life as we know it would cease. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) recently celebrated National Pollinator Week in North Carolina by hosting a garden tour in Asheville…  More 

Ukrainians Learn About ‘Sang

“Here’s sang-find, also known as rattlesnake fern,” said Gary Kauffman, botanist for the U.S. Forest Service National Forests of North Carolina, as he pointed out a delicately branching fern. “Ginseng used to be called ‘sang’ and sang-find is supposed to point towards the ginseng.” There were a number of other ginseng indicators in that particular cove…  More 

Seeing the Rich Understory of Appalachian Forests for the First Time

On Tuesday, May 3, nine Ukrainians gathered in the lobby of an Asheville, North Carolina, hotel. The group included business people, economists, foresters, scientists, and scholars, and was part of an international forestry program that was designed to show the U.S. system of harvesting, using, and managing non-timber forest products, or NTFPs. “NTFPs include hundreds…  More