Home is a Pine Tree

Every summer, female Indiana bats fly through southern Appalachian forests looking for a place to rear their pups. A new study, coauthored by U.S. Forest Service research ecologist, Susan Loeb, suggests that the bats are looking for yellow pine snags. Although Indiana bats sometimes roosted in other trees, they strongly preferred yellow pine snags, especially…  More 

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 

Managing Southern Appalachian Hardwood Forests with Fire

Findings from a study led by a U.S. Forest Service scientist suggest that more frequent use of prescribed fire will be needed to reach common management objectives for the hardwood forests in the southern Appalachian region. The findings by Forest Service emeritus scientist Tom Waldrop and collaborators were published in a recent issue of the…  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 

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 

The Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory

Much of what we know today about the hydrology of forested watersheds was learned through early research at the U.S. Forest Service Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory (Coweeta). Established in 1933 as the Coweeta Experimental Forest, the laboratory represents the longest continuous environmental study on any landscape in North America, as well as one of the oldest…  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 

Coweeta Hosts Young Scientists’ Presentations

On November 20, for the second year in a row,  5th grade students from Mountain View Intermediate School in Macon County, North Carolina, visited the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory (Coweeta) in nearby Otto to tour the facilities and learn about some of the exciting research taking place at the outdoor…  More 

Heat and Acid Could Squeeze Trout Out of Southern Appalachian Streams

A newly published research study that combines effects of warming temperatures from climate change with stream acidity projects average losses of around 10 percent of stream habitat for coldwater aquatic species for seven national forests in the southern Appalachians – and up to a 20 percent loss of habitat in the Pisgah and Nantahala National…  More