Forest Service

New handbook guides development of biomass utilization businesses

usfs logoBiomass 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?

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.

Forest Service, ForestHealth, Biomass

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Forest Service releases updated strategic plan documents

usfs logoThe Forest Service Intermountain Region has released two strategic planning documents; USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan: FY 2015–2020 and USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region Strategic Framework - FY 2017-2020
 
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.

Forest Service, strategic planning, strategic framework

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Drought Conditions at Lowest Point since Autumn 2010

usfs logoNationally, we are seeing extreme to exceptional (D3 to D4) drought conditions fall to their lowest point in more than 6 years.  Nowhere is that change more dramatic than in California.  The current (February 21, 2017) Drought Monitor for California notes the disappearance of D3/D4 from California.  At the California drought’s peak from August-October 2014, that percentage was nearly 82 percent.  As recently as early-December 2016, coverage of D3/D4 in California stood at 43 percent.

Forest Service, Sierra Nevada, snowpack, Drought

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Urban Forests and West Nile Virus

Since 1999, West Nile virus has spread throughout the U.S., frequently sickening and occasionally killing people. The virus has killed at least one person in every state in the conterminous U.S. “There are many risk factors for infection with West Nile virus,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Wayne Zipperer. “However, risk factors are complicated and not well understood.”

Mosquitoes, such as this southern house mosquito, can become infected with West Nile virus. When the mosquito feeds on a human, the virus can be transmitted. Photo by Jim Gathany, CDC, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

urban forest, West Nile, mosquito

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Update to the 2010 RPA Assessment

usfs logoThe Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment reports on the status and trends of the Nation's renewable resources on all forest and rangelands, as required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. The USDA Forest Service has conducted natural resource analyses for over a century. The 1974 RPA legislation established a periodic reporting requirement and broadened the coverage to all renewable resources on U.S. forests and rangelands. The RPA Assessment includes analyses of forests, rangelands, wildlife and fish, biodiversity, water, outdoor recreation, wilderness, urban forests, and the effects of climate change on these resources.

Update to the 2010 RPA Assessment

Forest Service, Resources Planning Act, Assessment

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