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HomeState & Private Forestry News
April 2018 
From the Director
Kathleen Atkinson, Area Director (Forest Service photo)
Leadership Note
I hope that everyone has read and taken to heart
Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen's recent leadership column about changing our culture together. It points to our most urgent task as an agency, to confront the culture of harassment and retaliation that has hurt our employees and damaged our workplace.
In the leadership column, Chief Christiansen outlined a 30-day "Stand Up for Each Other" action plan. The first step in the action plan is that every unit hold listening sessions with employees. There are additional steps that follow, but the first is for us to listen. This is a time when we can learn from one another to gain insights about pervasive issues and share ideas that have the potential to bring about positive change.
This week, the Regional Office held a Listen & Learn session to discuss harassment, assault, bullying and retaliation within the Forest Service and explore ways to change our culture. We started the session as a large group and then moved into smaller discussion groups, including one that was virtual. I personally learned a lot from the group that I facilitated, as did Deputy Regional Foresters Mary Beth Borst and Kathy Lynn. We heard a number of hard truths, including those that relate to rebuilding trust in leadership and accountability. In our small groups, we also discussed ways to improve our workplace.
As units across the Northeast hold Listen & Learn sessions, I strongly encourage all employees to participate. Take a moment to think about your experiences, both good and bad, and what we can do to make this the Forest Service we all deserve. Please keep in mind that this is just the beginning. We will be submitting a summary of topics and themes that emerge from these listening sessions across the Region/Northeastern Area to the Washington Office, which will be used to develop the "Stand-up" session that will likely take place in June.
I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure all employees come to work in a safe, healthy, harassment-free, productive and resilient environment where all are recognized and valued for their contributions. I ask that you please join me in that commitment.
We are on this journey together and I'm interested in hearing from you in terms of how we can move forward so that all employees feel empowered, safe and respected. I invite you to share your thoughts via
- Kathleen Atkinson, Area Director, Northeastern Area and Regional Forester, Eastern Region

We Need Your Help Spotting This Disease!
Beech leaves that have raised lateral veins and yellow coloring.
Raised striped bands between lateral veins of beech leaves. (Courtesy photo by Carrie Ewing, The Ohio State University)
From My Minnesota Woods (University of Minnesota)
ST PAUL, Minn. --- Look for signs of beech leaf disease using this guide . Although the causal agent hasn't been identified yet, this disease has been contributing to American beech decline and mortality across northeastern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania, and southwestern New York. Contact your local forest health specialist, State Extension Service, or State Departments of Agriculture and Forestry if you observe symptoms of beech leaf disease.
Alternative Spring Breakers Choose Chesapeake Restoration
Woman carrying tree protector tubes.
A Rutgers University student carries tree shelters that will protect newly-planted trees from wildlife damage. (U.S. Forest Service photo by Sally Claggett)
About 20 Rutgers University students spent their spring break helping the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on projects, which included maintaining a 5-acre riparian forest buffer planting on a farm in Maryland's Eastern Shore on March 13. Sally Claggett, U.S. Forest Service Chesapeake Liaison, instructed the student group about the importance of restoring riparian forest buffers and how to maintain them. Maintenance consisted of re-staking tree shelters on a 2-year-old buffer, planting 100 supplemental tree seedlings where there was mortality, and removing competing vegetation.
Improved maintenance of riparian buffer plantings was identified as a need in the Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Initiative -- an effort kicked off in 2014 by leaders from USDA's Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Forest Service. The goal of the Initiative is to bolster existing efforts to increase the miles of riparian forest buffer in the Chesapeake watershed by increasing outreach, technical assistance, science, and financial assistance to private landowners. Chesapeake Bay partners, including six States and multiple Federal agencies, have had a long-standing goal to establish 900 miles of riparian forest buffers each year to help reduce pollution from agricultural land. Riparian forest buffers improve water quality by processing nutrient-rich flows before they enter a waterway.

Making Trees Work in Missouri Communities
Holly Dentner, Missouri Department of Conservation
From Forest Matters Stewardship News
For the last several years, Missourians have been getting the message about trees. Specifically, they've been hearing about all the benefits trees provide. Through the Missouri Department of Conservation, the "Trees Work" campaign has dedicated resources to educate and inform Missourians of all the ways trees work for them. Read the full Trees Work story.
My St. Croix Woods: New Approaches to Landowner Engagement in the St. Croix
Nicole Butler, Landowner Outreach Assistant, St. Croix River Association
From Forest Matters Stewardship News
Over the past 10 years, the St. Croix River Association  has become increasingly involved in coordinated, collaborative efforts to institutionalize forest stewardship across the St. Croix watershed. These efforts facilitated the adoption of two landscape stewardship plans - the first for the Yellow River watershed of Wisconsin and the second for the Kettle River watershed of Minnesota. Read the entire St. Croix story .

Your Land, Your Legacy: Creating Forest Legacy Planning Resources across the Northeast
Allyson Muth, Forest Stewardship Program Associate, The Pennsylvania State University
From Forest Matters Stewardship News
In 2015, a consortium of institutions (Penn State and the Universities of Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont) received funding from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture's Renewable Resources Extension Act National Focus Funds grant program. This effort was made through the auspices of the Northeastern Forest Resources Extension Committee and driven by a desire to expand the impact of successful forest legacy planning engagement programs. Read the full Your Land, Your Legacy article .
Ecology and Management of Northern Red Oak in New England
Karen Bennett, Forestry Professor and Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
From Forest Matters Stewardship News
Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is one of the highest-valued species for both timber production and wildlife amenities. In New England, the species is declining due to regeneration difficulties, dwindling farmland abandonment, and losses from deer browsing. Read the full northern red oak guide article .
Grant Opportunity

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) --- The U.S. Forest Service will support competitive projects in the Great Lakes Basin that (1) restore tree canopy lost due to the emerald ash borer, (2) create or improve green infrastructure through the planting of trees and other vegetation as part of a stormwater management strategy, or (3) restore the function of coastal wetland areas through the planting of native trees and diverse vegetation. Closing date May 11, 2018. View more information about this opportunity on the Northeastern Area's GLRI grants web page .

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