U.S. Forest Service R&D Newsletter - August 2017
News from the Washington Office and Research Stations

Overall, participation in nature-based recreation has grown in recent years. A recent study predicted that in the year 2030, over 100 million people will go hiking, which is the most popular backcountry recreation activity. Outdoor recreation provided by national forests generates about $9.3 billion in spending in local communities.
High elevation forests provide drinking water for millions of people, but stormwater runoff erodes forest roads and can negatively impact the water quality. A new study evaluated a model that can help estimate how much sediment is flowing into mountain waterways. 
Certain tree species are better than others at intercepting rainfall and reducing the amount of stormwater runoff in urban environments. Researchers in California found the blue spruce most effective at catching rainwater, while the Bradford pear was the least effective.
A study showed that researchers can use weather satellite data to track and document the movements of spruce budworm, an aggressive native forest pest. Enhanced monitoring methods using weather data can be used to predict likely settlement areas of the spreading spruce budworm moths.
As part of a travelling multimedia presentation, Dr. Paul Hessburg discusses the rise of wildfires in the West, how humans contributed to their extreme behavior, and what people can do to mitigate risk. The presentation, "The Era of Wildfires" is making stops throughout the country.
A study found that in the near-term, climates will support higher ponderosa pine seedling survival, but as conditions change later this century, their survival will decline. Ponderosa pine is a key dry land species, and over the past 50 years dry land forests have experienced disturbance events outside their normal range of variability.
Twenty years after simulated soil compaction from logging activities,  researchers found little difference in root growth and expansion among conifers in the compacted and unaltered sites. These findings demonstrate forests' resiliency to land management.
A new book by historian Diane Smith traces the history of fire research through the 1970s and places it in a historical context. The goal is to help the agency and the public better understand the origins of fire research as well as the management and firefighting decisions researchers believed would improve the long-term sustainability of forestlands.
  The brand new National Museum of Forest Service History is now open in Missoula, Montana
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