News and Events
Wood is used for an abundance of everyday items — furniture, buildings, paper — so much so that it would be difficult to find a space completely without wood-based products. However, a competing use is emerging: many studies predict that more wood will be used for bioenergy in the future, which could affect that industry and the conventional wood products industry on many levels.
Long hours, lots of reading, and collaborating with fellow scientists around the world is some of what goes into overseeing a chapter for the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). SRS senior research ecologist James Vose was a federal coordinating lead author and chapter lead for Chapter 6 – Forests of the NCA4. SRS senior economist Jeffrey Prestemon served as a chapter author.
Every state in the U.S. offers tax breaks to forest landowners. But the details vary significantly – which makes it hard for policymakers to compare the programs, as a team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service and the University of Minnesota has shown.
Hurricane Michael roared through Florida, Alabama, and Georgia on October 10 and delivered a hard hit to timberland owners and timber markets.
“Lumber and economic growth are tightly connected,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “At a certain rate of GDP growth, you get a certain path of lumber consumption.”
Two recent USDA Forest Service publications focus on agroforestry practices. The national report Agroforestry: Enhancing resiliency in U.S. agricultural landscapes under changing conditions reviews five widely recognized categories of agroforestry: silvopasture, alley cropping, forest farming (or multistory cropping), windbreaks, and riparian forest buffers. The report includes an overview of the potential role of agroforestry in each region across the U.S.
Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2017 tax year are now available online. Linda Wang, the U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist, prepares the tips each year.
What if we lose tree species we know, love, and need? It has happened before.
“Look at what happened to the American chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Thomas Holmes. “Look at what’s happening right now to hemlock, redbay, and ash trees.” All three species, as well as many more, are threatened by non-native insects or pathogens.
Meet Cara (Meghan) Downes a research economist who recently joined the Southern Research Station Economics and Policy unit at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC. Downes received her doctorate in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University of New Mexico. Prior to coming to work for the FS, Downes was the Associate Professor of Economics at New Mexico State University (NMSU).
Family forest owners may use consulting foresters or state extension foresters for advice on the technical details of land management, but many owners shy away from seeking help with how best to pass their forest land on to the next generation. Poor estate planning — or no planning at all — can result in the next generation inheriting a tax bill that requires selling timber or the forest land itself, which in turn can lead to subdivision and development.
A new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators projects a four percent increase overall in acres burned by wildfire in the Southeast by 2060, but with substantial uncertainties and large variations by state and ecoregion, including a 34 percent increase in acres burned due to lightning-caused fires.
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, and those started accidentally.
In 1964, Congress protected areas where, according to the Wilderness Act, “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Wilderness areas now cover approximately 5 percent of the United States – over 100 million acres.
Family forest owners may use consulting foresters or state extension foresters for advice on the technical details of land management, but many owners shy away from seeking help with how best to pass their forest land on to the next generation. Poor estate planning — or no planning at all — can result in the next generation inheriting a tax bill that requires selling timber or forest land, which in turn can lead to subdivision and development.
Tax tips for forest landowners for the 2015 tax year are now available online. Prepared by Linda Wang, U.S. Forest Service national timber tax specialist. The information was updated on February 3, 2016. The second page contains an important change on Depreciation and Sec. 179 Expensing.