Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

Forest action plans provide an analysis of forest conditions and trends in your area.

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Forest Health

Colorado Trees Weather-Damaged

Many eastern Colorado trees were unprepared for the record-breaking cold in early November. Temperatures in Denver plunged from the high 60s to minus 14 degrees over just four days, and as a result, many trees suffered needle and bud damage that will impact tree health this year.

Kansas Farmers Can Improve Land Through Forestry Management

Kansas windbreaks, also known as shelterbelts, offer a variety of benefits to Kansas farmers, says Bob Atchison of the Kansas Forest Service and recipient of NASF's 2014 Jim Sledge Current Achievement Award for Forest Resource Management.

Windbreaks can help farmers increase crop yields up to 23 percent, improve calving survival, save 13 percent on feed bills and reduce energy costs around the farmstead by 25 percent. Additionally, windbreaks provide wildlife habitat, sources of fuel and forage, and recreational opportunities.

Florida Students Plant 400 Trees in Celebration of Arbor Day

Friday, Jan.16, was the 70th edition of Florida’s Arbor Day, which always occurs on the third Friday of each January. Florida, because of her shorter winters and a strong propensity to reach warm, subtropical temperatures rapidly, is the first state of the union to celebrate Arbor Day each year. Other states follow, according to the time most conducive for successful tree-planting for their respective latitude/longitude.

Working to Protect America’s Trees and Forests from Harm

Nicole Leinders is the National Association of State Foresters’ Foundation intern.

There is something magical about walking through an avenue of trees in the fall, branches reaching up and surrounding you in a tunnel of color as gold and brown leaves swirl through the air. There’s that smell of fresh earth mixed with a bite of cold, and always the crackle of leaves beneath your feet. My school, St. Lawrence University, has an avenue of such trees that leads out to the riding stables from the edge of one of our older dorm buildings.

Family-Owned Woodlands Key to Forest Conservation

More than a third of U.S. forests are owned by individuals and families—a larger share than the federal government or various companies own. As we work to protect both the environment and rural economies, family-owned forests are hugely important yet too often overlooked, according to the American Forest Foundation.

Woodlands protect against climate change; they provide habitat for plants and animals; they help maintain clean, fresh water and provide oxygen to keep us alive; and they aid our economy by supporting jobs and producing materials that we all use every day.

Prescribed Fire is Vital in Ensuring Forest Health in Florida

The Florida Forest Service will promote the benefits of prescribed fire during Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, Jan. 25-31. Prescribed fire plays a vital role in maintaining the health of Florida’s nearly 17 million acres forestlands and preventing devastating wildfires.

“The Florida Forest Service encourages the careful use of prescribed fire throughout Florida,” said Jim Karels, State Forester. “In addition to its vital role in Florida’s ecosystems, prescribed fire helps keep citizens and homes safe by reducing wildfire risk.”

Vermont Adopts Voluntary Timber Harvesting Guidelines

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has announced that Commissioner Michael Snyder has adopted a set of voluntary harvesting guidelines for private landowners to help ensure long-term forest health and sustainability.        

Missouri Department of Conservation Receives Grant to Help Landowners with Key Habitat Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently announced that it will receive $1.3 million in federal grant monies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help private landowners in Missouri improve grasslands, glades, and woodlands on their properties for both wildlife habitat and agriculture production.

As the Conservation Commission approves annual expenditure plans, MDC plans to match the federal grant monies over the next five years through its existing Private Lands Services program.

New Mexico enters its fifth consecutive year of drought

New Mexico is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, with the first runoff forecast of the year pointing to yet another year of low flows on the Rio Grande.

Water managers cautioned that it is still early, with months left for mountain snows to catch up.

“There’s a lot of winter yet to come,” said David Gensler, water manager for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

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