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HomeState & Private Forestry News
May 2017
Wildfire Mitigation --- Reducing Risk and Restoring Landscapes

A worker on foot and another on an ATV_ both in protective gear_ watching a prescribed burn.
A small ATV was used to ignite this prescribed burn in Iowa. (Courtesy photo Iowa Department of Natural Resources)

In the States served by the Northeastern Area, even small wildfires threaten structures due to heavy population and a large proportion of wildland-urban interface. In 2016, 74 residences and 167 other structures were destroyed by wildland fires across the area. Of the almost 26,000 ignitions that occurred, 99% were human-caused. In total wildfires burned over 98,000 acres.

Mitigation includes actions that reduce or eliminate the wildfire risk to people, property, and natural resources. Mechanical treatments like mowing and thinning, as well as prescribed fire, are used to reduce fuel buildup. For example, the Delaware Forest Service has been working to control phragmites--a flammable grass that invades wetlands, crowds out native vegetation, and grows near homes and structures in coastal areas. Spraying, mowing, and burning of phragmites has returned native vegetation to treated wetlands.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans, home assessments, and programs like Firewise Communities and   Ready, Set, Go! engage communities and local fire departments to take action. An example is the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Fire Safety Council, and Barnegat Fire Adapted Community Learning Network teaming up with   Sustainable Jersey to offer incentives to help communities adapt to wildfire.

It is Federal and State agencies, communities, fire departments, nonprofits, and homeowners working together that make progress towards restoring resilient landscapes, protecting communities, reducing human-caused fires, and promoting safe and efficient wildfire response.

Did you know? 
One of the most effective ways to mitigate wildfire risk is to restore and maintain a resilient landscape with a natural fire regime.
Grant Uncovers Potential Wood Technology Jobs
_ A piece of lumber made up of layers of wood.
Cross-laminated timber can be used in multiple-story buildings. (Source: Inside the Forest Service, 25 April 2017)

WASHINGTON --- A Forest Service-funded grant helped uncover a potential economic boon for the Northeast and elsewhere in the United States through a new wood technology.

The Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry awarded a Wood Innovation grant to the New England Forestry Foundation in 2016. The $149,875 grant was used to analyze the potential for manufacturing engineered wood products in New England. The foundation provided $98,175 in matching funds.

The grant analysis revealed there is market potential within New England to establish at least one mill to manufacture  cross-laminated timber construction materials. Currently, the CLT manufacturing facility nearest to New England is in Montreal, Canada. Read more on the Forest Service's Web site.

May is National Bike Month

WASHINGTON --- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has joined the League of American Cyclists in recognizing May as National Bike Month. The week of May 15-19 is designated as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday May 19 as Bike-to-Work Day. The National Center for Safe Routes to School is coordinating Walk-and-Bike-to-School Day on Wednesday May 10. Learn more at the Bike Month page of the League's Web site. 
One Storm Can Change Your Life and Community

SILVER SPRING, Md. --- The Atlantic hurricane season goes from June through November. Do you know what you should do now, when a hurricane approaches, when a storm is in your area, and after a hurricane? Knowing what to do can increase your chance of survival. Prepare now. Get tips and resources at the National Weather Service's Hurricane Safety Web page.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten by a Tick
According to an article by Fox News writer Jennifer Fabiano, taking simple precautions can help you avoid a tick bite: cover your skin with clothing, use repellents, avoid areas where ticks are likely to be found, and check yourself and your pets after being outdoors.   Get details on how to protect yourself at the Fox News Web site.

New Community Engagement Guidelines for Excellence

WASHINGTON --- The North American Association for Environmental Education has released a set of guidelines for community engagement that focuses on community wellness. The guidelines are designed to help environmental educators create inclusive environments that support effective partnerships and collaborations.  Access the guidelines on the NAAEE Web site. Other guidelines by the NAAEE address early childhood environmental education (EE) programs, non-formal EE programs, EE materials, k-12 guidelines for learning, and professional development of environmental educators.

Upcoming Meeting

Ecological Society of America, Portland OR, August 6 --- 11, 2017. Learn more at the Ecological Society of America Web site. Early bird deadline is June 15.

Editor's Note

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