The Forest Service is the Nation’s foremost Federal forestry organization, providing leadership in the management, protection, use, research, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources on our country’s vast forests and grasslands. Our organization functions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), propelled by a dedicated workforce of permanent and temporary seasonal employees that exceeds 40,000 employees during the peak summer work season. The Forest Service was established in 1905 to sustainably manage our national forests and promote conservation across the land. We in the Forest Service are committed to retaining forests and grasslands for present and future generations.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2015 — For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. A new report released today by the Forest Service estimates that within a decade, the agency will spend more than two-thirds of its budget to battle ever-increasing fires, while mission-critical programs that can help prevent fires in the first place such as forest restoration and watershed and landscape management will continue to suffer. Meanwhile, the report notes, these catastrophic blazes are projected to burn twice as many acres by 2050.
Attached is the 2015 Annual Report for one of the USDA Forest Service (FS) research programs that places an emphasis on western native plants.
This issue takes a look at a few of the 2015 research and application studies conducted by scientists and their partners with the Forest Service’s Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD). Significant results of recent research and science delivery by program scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the USDA Forest Service, as well as those of our stakeholders. In particular, we spotlight accomplishments in research and technology that address:
VALLEJO, CALIF., JUNE 22, 2016 AT 2:30 PM EDT -The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) sent a letter today to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, urging the agency to withdraw its Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management. The letter was also signed by Committee Vice-Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Chairman John Fleming (LA-4) and Vice-Chair Paul Gosar (AZ-4), and Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (CA-4) and Vice-Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-1). The letter echoes similar concerns voiced by the Western Governors Association and others about how the proposal could usurp state management of groundwater.
U.S. Forest Service Awards Grants to Expand and Accelerate Wood Energy and Wood Products Markets in 19 States
MAY 24, 2017 AT 3:15 PM EDT - U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced over $8.3 million to substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets. Federal funds will leverage almost $37 million in matching funds from 36 business, university, nonprofit, and tribal partners in 19 states for a total investment of over $45 million. The public-private partnerships leveraged with these grants will lead to the removal of hazardous fuels from forests while spurring the economic development of rural communities.
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The U.S. Forest Service is six years overdue on creating boundaries and management plans for two wild and scenic rivers in Northern California and the threatened wildlife that live there, fishermen and environmentalists claim in court.
The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and North Coast Rivers Alliance sued the Forest Service, the Department of Agriculture and Mendocino National Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson in Federal Court on Thursday.
They claim the Forest Service violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by failing to create boundaries and management plans for the Black Butte River and its tributary, Cold Creek, by the 2009 deadline imposed by Congress.
Congress adopted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, requiring that lands and waters in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System be managed to preserve their free-flowing condition, water quality and environments "for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations."
April 6, 2016. Moss growing on urban trees is a useful bio-indicator of cadmium air pollution in Portland, Oregon, a U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station-led study has found. The work - the first to use moss to generate a rigorous and detailed map of air pollution in a U.S. city - is published online in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
"What's unique about this study is that we used moss to track down previously unknown pollution sources in a complex urban environment with many possible sources," said Sarah Jovan, a research lichenologist at the station based in Portland and one of the study's co-leads.
Moss have been used as bioindicators - living organisms that can help monitor environmental health - by the Forest Service and other agencies for decades. Because moss lack roots, they absorb all of their water and nutrients from the atmosphere, inadvertently taking up and storing whatever compounds happen to be in the air.
This spring, the National Forest Foundation supported the Forest Service in convening and facilitating ten Regional EADM Partner Roundtables across the country, and produced a report from each of them to document input shared by partners. The NFF also pulled cross-cutting themes from the regional reports and summarized them into National Findings and Leverage Points.
In the national summary report, partner input was organized into nine themes and describe perceptions of the identified problems and leverage points for each. The report details many important leverage points that are worthy of attention, however here is a summary of the key takeaway messages:
VALLEJO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California's drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years.
Biomass utilization can fund restoration, create jobs in rural communities
PORTLAND, Ore. April 19, 2017. In the Western United States, a small-diameter log and biomass utilization business can help fund active management and restoration efforts and provide rural communities with much-needed jobs. So what should businesses, forest managers, community groups, and others interested in turning the byproducts of forest management into a profitable enterprise consider?
A new online handbook published by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station offers guidance. The publication, Community Biomass Handbook Volume 4: Enterprise Development for Integrated Wood Manufacturing, takes a collaborative approach to enterprise development and recognizes the important role of partnerships and land managers in developing sustainable wood products businesses. The guidance is particularly relevant to communities and businesses near public lands.