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News and information about environmental and land management action involving U.S. Forest Service

John Stewart

Forest Growth Expanding

Forest Service Report Shows Forest Growth in North Outpacing Other Parts of Country
Region benefits from carbon emissions collection, water filtration, forestry jobs

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2012 —U.S. Forest Service scientists today released an assessment that shows forest land has expanded in northern states during the past century despite a 130-percent population jump and relentless environmental threats.  At the same time, Forest Service researchers caution that threats to forests in the coming decades could undermine these gains.

According to the Forests of the Northern United States report, forest coverage in the United States has increased by 28 percent across the region that includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Original author: USFS
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John Stewart

Fuel management best practices report released

Scientists synthesize best practices for fuels management in dry mixed conifer forests

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov. 26, 2012 – USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists along with collaborators from Humboldt State University, the University of Montana, and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, synthesized a vast array of information on the ecology, management strategies, and effectiveness of fuel treatments within the dry mixed conifer forests of the northwestern United States. Because dry mixed conifer forests cover such a broad and diverse region of forested landmass, researchers made site-specific visits to federal, state, and tribal land management organizations to conduct over 50 interviews with resource specialists in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Oregon, South Dakota, and California. By incorporating the most relevant scientific research and best practice approaches, scientists used this information to develop an organizational framework to support land management strategies. This collaborative effort, co-funded by the Joint Fire Sciences Program and National Fire Plan, is published in a technical report, “A Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Management Practices for Dry Mixed Conifer Forests in the Northwestern United States.”

Original author: USFS
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John Stewart

Forest Service Launches Special Uses Website

Each year, the Forest Service receives thousands of individual and business applications for authorization for use of National Forest System (NFS) land and carefully reviews each application to determine how the request affects the public's use of NFS land.

Normally, NFS land is not made available if the overall needs of the individual or business can be met on non-federal lands.

In general, a special-use authorization is a legal document such as a permit, term permit, lease, or easement, which allows occupancy, use, rights, or privileges of NFS land. The authorization is granted for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time.

You will need an authorization:

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John Stewart

Forest OHV trails reopen for 2015; feature improvements

To protect trails and riders, OHV areas are subject to closure after prolonged or heavy rainfall when usage would result in forest damage. Before every ride, OHV users are encouraged to ‘call before you haul’ and check the recreation conditions report online at go.usa.gov/3jkxQ.
 
“By treading lightly you can ride hard and still keep the trail beautiful, healthy, and open for future generations” added Jewett.
 
For forest information, maps, and alerts visit:
·         OHV maps: go.usa.gov/3gp3R
·         Text message: text ‘follow chattoconeenf’ to 40404
·         Smart phone/tablet app: go.usa.gov/Jwgh
 
OHV trail riding areas and winter work:

Beasley Knob OHV TrailsOpenRoutine maintenance and approximately 4.5 miles of trail reroutes.
Davenport Mountain OHV TrailsOpenNone
Whissenhunt OHV TrailsOpenTrail assessment to identify problem areas for future improvements.
Locust Stake OHV Trail SystemOpenNone
Oakey Mountain OHV TrailsOpenNone
Houston Valley OHV TrailsOpenRoutine maintenance, trail reroute, installation of size limiting gates, new information board and signs, and fencing upgrades.
Rock Creek ORV TrailOpenNone
Rocky Flats OHV TrailOpenNone
Tatum Lead ORV TrailOpenNone
Windy Gap, Milma Creek, and Tibbs OHV TrailsOpenNone
Roberts Bike Camp OHV TrailsOpenNone
Town Creek OHV TrailsOpenNone

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, thousands of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is part of the Southern Region, with the Forest Supervisor’s office in Gainesville, Georgia, managing four District units in Blairsville (Blue Ridge District), Lakemont (Chattooga River District), Chatsworth (Conasauga District), and Eatonton (Oconee District).

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John Stewart

Final Forest Planning Rule Released

The USDA and the Forest Service carefully considered over a quarter million comments received on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement issued in February to develop today’s final rule, which emphasizes collaboration, sound science and protections for land, water and wildlife.

The final rule strengthens the role of public involvement and dialogue throughout the planning process. It also requires the use of the best available scientific information to inform decisions.

“We are ready to start a new era of planning that takes less time, costs less money, and provides stronger protections for our lands and water”, said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.  “This new rule will bring 21st century thinking to a process that is sorely needed to protect and preserve our 193 million acres of amazing forests and grasslands.”

Land management plans under the final rule will include:

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