Could Increasing Climate Variability Usher In “The Age of the Mediocre Forest?”

In 2001, when large numbers of red spruce trees began dying atop Mt. Mitchell in western North Carolina, U.S Forest Service researchers stepped in to investigate. During the four years before the researchers’ arrival, unusual drought and abnormally high air temperatures combined with acid rain pollution and a rare outbreak of southern pine beetles to…  More 

New Study Finds Lower Elevation Forests More Affected by Drought

Recently published research by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the  U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), and two other universities shows how the effects of drought on lower elevation forest watersheds in the Southeast could affect drinking water supplies as the region’s climate continue to change.  Taehee Hwang,…  More 

Symposium Update: Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation

Over 60 land managers, scientists, students, and professors attended a recent symposium on natural disturbances and historic range of variation. The symposium was held at the annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, and organized by Cathryn Greenberg, project leader of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management unit,…  More 

Innovative Web App Blends Trails and Forest Science

Today, just in time for Memorial Day, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) unveiled the Forest Trail Explorer, a searchable web application (web app) that combines details on three popular trail systems in western North Carolina with the state-of-the-science information the SRS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit collects on the region’s forests.…  More 

Learning About Climate Change Can be Fun

On May 6, students from the Schenck Job Corps Center in Pisgah, North Carolina, traveled up the mountain  from their center to test drive a new climate change exhibit at the Cradle of Forestry, the birthplace of forestry and forest conservation located in the Pisgah National Forest. Designed and installed by the U.S. Forest Service Southern…  More 

Researchers Track “Gray Ghosts” Across the Southern Appalachians

People living in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States have long enjoyed a rich culture of storytelling. Often rooted in a deep connection to the natural world, stories from Appalachian folklore serve to entertain as well as to educate; sometimes, important life lessons emerge, especially from tales of demise. A present-day ghost story…  More 

Appalachian-Cumberland Highlands: The Next 50 Years

Knowing more about how the future might unfold can improve decisions that have long-term consequences. The Southern Forest Futures Project, a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Forest Service, aims to forecast and interpret changes in southern forests under multiple scenarios over the next several decades. The first of five sub-regional reports to explore these…  More 

Long-Term Research on Fire Ecology in the Southern Appalachians

Scientists with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Upland Hardwoods Ecology and Management unit recently received a grant from the Joint Fire Sciences Program to continue a study on the long-term effects on wildlife of using prescribed fire and mechanical fuel reduction treatments in upland hardwood forests. The study is on the southern Appalachian…  More 

Wildland Fire in the Appalachians Conference

The Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists and the Association for Fire Ecology are hosting a conference October 8 -10, 2013, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Wildland Fire in the Appalachians: Discussions Among Managers and Scientists is designed for anyone with an interest in wildland fire in the…  More 

Where’s the Ginseng?

Newly published research by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) demonstrates that co-managing eastern hardwood forests for timber and non-timber forest products could boost local economies while helping conserve biodiversity. SRS scientist Jim Chamberlain worked with Michael McGufffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and Virginia Tech associate professor Stephen Prisley…  More