Editor’s note: What is mass timber? Sometimes called “advanced timber,” this relatively new and as-yet evolving building product takes several forms. For a primer on products in the mass timber family, we turned to rethinkwood.com. We think you’ll find their definitions useful in better understanding and engaging in discussions about the use of mass timber in our built environment. [Read more…]
As wildfires across the West continue to display truly unprecedented behavior, scientists for the U.S. Forest Service are trying to understand how an extreme conflagration “breathes” and grows – or, sometimes, subsides.
They are pioneers, following lines of inquiry never before considered, examining the superheated gases and smoke produced by these massive fires and the miles-high plumes they produce.
The goal is straightforward: Save lives. Understand how these extreme fires move and spread, and you can begin to predict their behavior. And that knowledge might just give firefighters and emergency responders the warning they so desperately need to save lives – their own and those in the communities they’ve sworn to protect.
That’s why this recent report by Douglas Fox, writing for High Country News, is such essential reading. It’s masterful storytelling, yes, but also an incredibly detailed, yet accessible, look at the history of fire science and the latest research on extreme fire behavior. [Read more…]
The planet’s forests are a significant piece of the conversation about not only the impacts of climate warming, but also about strategies for sequestering carbon – thereby removing it from Earth’s atmosphere. [Read more…]
One of the reasons we launched Treesource.org was to help foster a new, stronger relationship between professional journalists and foresters. It’s a mission that demands a genuine commitment to face-to-face communication, a good measure of risk-taking, and the willingness to trust one another.
Recently, our board chairman had an opportunity to talk about the need for a stronger connection between foresters and the journalists who cover their life’s work. The occasion was the annual meeting of the Montana Chapter of the Society of American Foresters. Frank Edward Allen was the keynote speaker.
We present his talk here, so you too might have the opportunity to hear what he’s learned after 50 years in journalism – and after interviewing a host of Montana foresters and journalists about how their relationships could be improved. [Read more…]
The scent of a crushed sassafras leaf is unforgettable – sweet, pungent, fragrant. If you have never plucked one of the leaves and rolled it around between your fingers, you should.
But sassafras trees are in danger in Georgia and other coastal states.
“Sassafras is susceptible to laurel wilt disease,” says U.S. Forest Service research mathematical statistician KaDonna Randolph. “The disease has not reached the heart of the sassafras range, but it is spreading throughout the Southeast.”
A nonnative fungus-beetle duo causes laurel wilt disease. The beetle, known as the redbay ambrosia beetle, has mandibular mycangia – pockets of fungus in its mouth. The fungus that causes laurel wilt disease can survive in these pockets. [Read more…]
In 2001, I was the USDA author of the report entitled, “Managing the Impacts of Wildfires on Communities and the Environment” — the National Fire Plan. [Read more…]
I saw your new site, Treesource.org, and read the article on the new PBS-TV documentary featuring Chuck Leavell. I have been working with (producer) Bruce Ward for several years on these issues. One thing I hope you will consider is using more information and stories from the eastern area of the country. Most information about forestry always seems to talk about the West and, of course, the USFS and national forests. I write myself, but don’t have an ability to impact the issue! This is a national crisis – not just a Western problem.
Bob Williams CF
Pine Creek Forestry, Laurel, N.J.
For pure, unabashed fun and a bit of adventure, you won’t want to miss this travelogue by writer Nate Schweber and photographer Lido Vizzutti on the week they spent getting lost in the “Montana Triangle.”
The corners of their journey? Glacier National Park, theAmerican Prairie Reserve and Yellowstone National Park.
You’ll find plenty of trees along the way, but also an amazing story of history, change, and the power of great landscapes and a lifelong friendship. So grab a cup of coffee; you’ll want to spend some time with this new installment in our Travel through Trees series. [Read more…]
The National Forest Foundation on Wednesday announced the winner of the 2016/2017 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge. This unique competition provides awards for the best entrepreneurial approaches that help to solve one or more of the challenges facing America’s 193-million-acre national forest system.
Sponsor Dr. Craig R. Barrett, former chairman and CEO of Intel and current chairman of the NFF’s Board of Directors, described the purpose of this competition as, “stimulating new ideas and cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders.”
This year’s winner, the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, submitted an innovative proposal that meets Barrett’s vision of the Challenge.
The remote rural community of John Day, Oregon, is enjoying a restoration renaissance. The only mill left in the county, Malheur Lumber Co., is humming along with 104 employees working extended hours processing a steady supply of logs from federal forest restoration projects. Restoration work has become an economic engine for the community: Careful thinning of smaller trees increases forest resilience while providing additional material for local industry. And the results are real: Local school enrollment has grown from 570 to 615 students, the highest it’s been in fifteen years. Unemployment has fallen from a high of 14 percent in 2012 to 8.9 percent in 2015. Community leaders hope that more jobs will give the younger generation a reason to stay in, or come back to, the community.