USDA Forest Service News

USDA Invests $285 Million To Improve National Forest And Grassland Infrastructure

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $285 million to help the Forest Service address critical deferred maintenance and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure on national forests and grasslands. This $285 million investment is made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act. These funds will allow the Forest Service to implement mor...

Forest Scientists Start Few Fires To Fight The Rest

The flames and billowing smoke rose high enough to veil as an acre of bone-dry grasslands was ignited by a slow, fiery ooze belching from something called a drip torch. The initial wave of heat could have easily seared the clothing of the sturdy crew of firefighters who purposely set this section of land aflame, but they knew which way the wind was blowing and lit accordingly. That is what a prescribed burn looks like. USDA Forest Service employees repeat similar scenarios on national...

USDA Invests In Protection Of Communities From Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems And Improve Drinking Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest more than $46 million through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, and restore healthy forest ecosystems on public and private lands. Funding for 37 projects includes $13 million for eight new projects and $33.3 million to complete work on 29 projects previously selected in 2019 and 2020. Through the projects, USDA’s Forest Service (FS) and Natura...

USDA Forest Service Reflects On Challenges And Triumphs Of 2020

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the USDA Forest Service today announced it surpassed goals and set records in 2020.   "2020 was a challenging year, with record wildland fire activity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Forest Service, we have risen above these challenges and set our minds, hands and hearts to carrying out our mission to meet the needs of the communities we serve," said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. The Forest Service relied on its strong science...

USDA Forest Service Proposes Changes To Directives To Help Prevent Wildfire And Protect Power Grid

The USDA Forest Service seeks public input on two proposed directives that would address safety and reliability for powerline operations on national forests and grasslands. The proposed directives would implement provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill and amendments made in 2018 to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The proposed directives also align with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s direction to make national forests and grasslands healthier and more productive. The pr...

RMRS Researchers Enhance Firefighter Safety Through Science

Public and firefighter safety is the number one priority at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Missoula, Mont. The Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program there seeks to develop tools and technology that can help protect people and communities before, during, and after wildfires. RMRS develops and delivers innovative science and technology to improve the health and use of the nation’s forests and grasslands. Their scientists put tools and knowledge into the hands of managers who...

USDA Forest Service Awards Wood Innovations Grants To Reduce Wildfire Risk, Invest In Rural Economies And Support Healthy Forests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is investing in rural economies, reducing wildfire risk, and improving forest conditions by awarding $7.62 million in grants as part of the agency’s Wood Innovations Grant program.  Program opportunities  The Wood Innovations Grant program advances innovations in wood products that create jobs, revitalize local economies, and support sustainable forest land management. Thirty-five business, non-profit, university and tri...

USDA Forest Service Releases Community Wildfire Risk Website

For the first time, community wildfire risk has been mapped nationwide to help community leaders mitigate risk. The USDA Forest Service announced the free, interactive, easy-to-use website, Wildfire Risk to Communities. This website is designed to help community leaders nationwide understand how wildfire risk varies across a state, region, or county and allow them to prioritize actions to protect their communities. The Forest Service is leading the Wildfire Risk to Communities project...

USDA Invests Over $41 Million To Protect Communities From Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems And Improve Drinking Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest more than $41 million this fiscal year through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems on public and private lands. Funding for 36 projects includes $10.6 million for 16 new projects and $30.5 million to complete work on 20 projects previously selected in 2018 and 2019. Through the projects, USDA’s Forest Service (FS) and Na...

USDA, State, Federal Agencies Align For Historic Partnership To Reduce Wildfire Risk And Improve Forests, Water, And Habitat

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind, USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, and Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa signed a Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), calling it a model for other states to follow. The MOU, only the second of its kind in the nation, establishes a framework for Washington state and the USDA Forest Service to work collaboratively toward mutual goals and effectively re...

USDA Invests Millions To Protect Communities From Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems, Improve Drinking Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest more than $12 million this year to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems through targeted projects on both public and private lands in nine states. Since 2014, USDA has invested $213 million in 69 Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Projects, which focus on areas where public forests and grasslands intersect with privately-owned lands. Vicki Christiansen, Chief of the Forest Service, a...

USDA Forest Service Supports California Fire Suppression Efforts

Forest Service is supporting fire suppression efforts in California, where two massive wildfires burn at opposite ends of the state. Both fires started on November 8. “The people of California are in need of our support,” said James Hubbard, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. “USDA’s Forest Service firefighters and law enforcement are standing shoulder to shoulder with our citizens, state and local partners to help communities recover and stop the dev...

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