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HomeState & Private Forestry News
September 2016
Urban Forest Strike Team Training Prepares Communities for Storms

Three people with hard hats and safety vests standing by a damaged tree on a residential street
An Urban Forest Strike Team crew inventories damaged trees and tree planting locations following a tornado in Springfield, MA. (Photo: John Parry)
DURHAM, N.H. --- Northeastern Area staff and State partners will conduct Urban Forestry Strike Team (UFST) workshops this fall, to help communities be prepared for the aftermath of severe storms that damage urban forests.

Natural disasters cause significant damage to urban forests each year, and the resulting assessment and cleanup responsibilities often challenge communities. The team provides training in urban tree damage assessment, as well as assistance to practitioners and communities following natural disasters.

The UFST program involves recruiting, training, and deploying professional urban foresters and arborists to assess tree damage using arboriculture, FEMA assessment standards. The assessments help communities plan needed recovery work, reduce public hazards, save urban trees, and document the amount of damage and cost of cleanup.

The program was initially developed by State forestry agencies and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region. The program is now being introduced in the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern States.
UFST members attend a 2-day training workshop and obtain continuing education credits via webinars and online courses. Upon completion of the training, task specialists can be available to assist in recovery in their community or State.

A basic UFST workshop is being held in New Jersey in September. More advanced refresher training workshops will be held in Ohio (to include Michigan trainees) in October, and in Massachusetts in December. Approximately 75 people will attend the three workshops.

To date, Northeastern Area and State Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinators have conducted 10 UFST workshops and trained more than 250 attendees. Additionally, trained UFST crews have assisted after two disasters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The Massachusetts Tree Wardens and Foresters Association is assisting with delivery of the program through a U.S. Forest Service grant.

"Every Kid in a Park" Begins Second Year

WASHINGTON --- The Forest Service and six other land management agencies have begun the secĀ­ond year of the Every Kid in a Park program. Beginning September 1, fourth graders can go to the official Web site to download a pass for access to more than 2,000 Federal land and water sites. The Forest Service's participation includes working with schools --- especially Title I schools --- and youth groups, to help plan field trips and other special events.   Learn more at the Every Kid in a Park Web site.
Celebrate National Public Lands Day, September 24

WASHINGTON --- National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. The National Environmental Education Foundation uses the day to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage education, recreation, and general health. It is a fee-free day for all Federal public lands and many State parks.   Learn more at the foundation's Web site. Read about free events and ice cream social at the Forest Service's Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, PA, at the New Jersey Herald on line.
Fire Supervisors 50th Meeting Is Valley Forge "Staff Ride"

Group of men and women standing among a row of cannons in a field_ listening to a speaker
For the Northeast Forest Fire Supervisors, discussion at the artillery site at Valley Forge National Park, PA, was transformed to firefighting equipment and systems and technical expertise, as well as how to improve all of these. (Photo: Maris Gabliks)

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. --- A "staff ride" is a planned learning event that has been used effectively by various branches of the United States military since the 1970's. Staff rides typically discuss leadership, decisionmaking, tactics, and strategy. The Valley Forge Military Staff Ride was translated for wildland fire managers by adding wildland fire management and leadership that integrate well with military leadership and management. Topics included training, logistics, leadership, and facilities. Discussions also included organizing and tailoring the work force to varied missions. The U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute from Fort Leavenworth, KS, conducted the Valley Forge Leadership Staff Ride, which is based on the Continental Army's Encampment there during the winter of 1777. Wildland firefighters have developed fire leadership staff rides based on large wildland fires and what the military has done with the staff rides. Another nearby military staff ride that wildland firefighters use regularly is the Civil War Gettysburg Staff Ride. Read more about firefighter staff rides at
Evening Bat Is the First Found in Minnesota

Bat held with wings outstretched
Evening bat (Photo: Owen Scherping, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

ST. PAUL, Minn. --- It's been over a century since a new bat was found in Minnesota. Read the news release about the discovery of an evening bat, on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Web site.
Forest Health Staff Evaluates Pine Beetle Presence

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. --- Entomologists from the Northeastern Area's Morgantown Field Office visited military installations in New Jersey to monitor southern pine beetle. A potential southern pine beetle spot was located in a stand of white pine. No management activities are recommended at this time. The entomologists also met with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Welcome, Sheela Johnson
Waist up photo of standing woman with woods in background
(Photo: Richard Flanders)

Sheela Johnson reported aboard on August 7, to her new position as a natural resources specialist for the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, St. Paul, MN, Field Office. She will be working out of the Evanston, IL, office of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station. There, her work will focus on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects with partners. Read more.
Going Rogue: the Story of Japanese Barberry

ST. PAUL, Minn. --- The University of Minnesota Extension has produced a new 3-minute video on the invasive Japanese barberry. This flowering purple or green thorny plant is found in the Northeast and Midwest United States. Watch the video on YouTube.

Oh, What Wood Can Do!

See a collection from around the world of architectural curves made from sinuous laminated wooden frameworks at the Architizer blog.

Upcoming Meeting

Northeastern Mensurationists Organization Annual Meeting, November 13-15, 2016, Concord, MA. Get more information on their Web site.

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