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HomeState & Private Forestry News
February 2016
Cutting Pines to Suppress Southern Pine Beetle in New York  
Forester cuts a lengthwise groove in a downed pitch pine.
Kevin Dodds uses a chainsaw to cut a lengthwise groove in a downed pitch pine log to promote southern pine beetle mortality over the winter. (Photo: Ryan Hanavan)

DURHAM, N.H.--Four Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Forest Health staff deployed to New York recently, to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suppress a southern pine beetle (SPB) infestation at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge on Long Island.

SPB is a native insect and an aggressive pine killer. The beetle primarily is targeting pitch pines on Long Island. In the southeastern United States, SPB targets several species of pine, including loblolly, shortleaf, longleaf, and slash pines.

Entomologists Kevin Dodds, Nate Siegert, and Ryan Hanavan, along with Biological Technician Mark DiGirolomo, travelled to the 2,550-acre refuge in December. They cut down about 125 infested pitch pine trees over a 3-day period, to reduce and disrupt the SPB population there.

SPB was first detected at the refuge in 2014. Since then the Forest Service has provided technical assistance and financial support through pest suppression and eradication funding. 

"We're working with the refuge to continue monitoring and suppressing SPB infestations," said Dodds. "It's been a cooperative effort since SPB was detected on Long Island."

"Several stands that were treated in spring 2015 had infested trees again this year, but at much lower numbers. We cut down all the infested trees using cut-and-leave methods developed in the southeast U.S. Our hope is that beetles in the downed trees will die off in the winter cold. Cutting the trees should also help disrupt the spot infestation for next year," he added.
Forest Legacy News: Wisconsin River Headwaters Protected

LAND O' LAKES, Wis.--More than 1,000 acres of Wisconsin River headwaters were placed in permanent protection recently under the Wisconsin Forest Legacy Program, when two private landowners joined the program. Read about it at
Wildland Fire Oral History and Digital Storytelling Project

The Smokey Generation is a Web site dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories and oral history of wildland fire. It contains Stories by Person, explores aspects of wildland fire in Stories by Topic, visually defines wildland terms and fireline concepts in ConTEXTualized Stories, and gives geographical references in Talking Maps. The Smokey Generation is not affiliated with any Federal or State agency. Visit the Web site at
Put a Freeze on Winter Fires
EMMITSBURG, Md.--According to the U.S. Fire Association nearly half (46 percent) of electrical fire deaths happen in December through March.  Learn more about electrical fire safety at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site.

Managing Public Lands for Ecosystem Services

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--Northeastern Area Physical Scientist Al Steele was one of four speakers for the session on "Managing Public Lands for Ecosystems Services in the Energy-Water Nexus" at the 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, DC, in January. The session focused on environmental markets as potential solutions to provide incentives for land stewardship and reduce the risk of natural catastrophe through water quality trading and investment in biomass production. Learn more about the session at the conference Web site. The USDA Forest Service was one of the sponsors for the conference, which was convened by the National Council for Science and the Environment.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Study Published in Canadian Journal of Forest Research
DURHAM, N.H.--A former Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Pathways intern recently led a joint Forest Service and Univer­sity of New Hampshire study of a hemlock woolly adelgid remote sensing detection technique. Justin Williams, now working as a forestry technician with the Forest Service's Southern Research Station, used satellite imagery to measure the reflectance of Eastern hemlock to detect infestations of the invasive insect. The Canadian Journal of Forest Research published the paper in January. Read about the study on the NRC Research Press Web site. Pathways streamlined developmental programs promote employment opportunities in the Federal workforce for students and recent graduates.
Forest Service Releases Findings on the Effects of Drought
  Cover of the report
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Forest Service released a new report, "Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis," which provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. for­ests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.   Access the report on the Forest Service Web site.
Wood Energy Team: Clean Power Plan Webinars
PRINCETON, W.Va.--The Northeastern Area Wood Education and Resource Center held its quarterly Statewide Wood Energy Team Webcast in January. Sarah J. Wurzbacher from Penn State University provided informa­tion about the Clean Power Plan Webinar series. The series provides information on the role biomass can play in State plans designed to meet Clean Power Plan requirements. Get information on the webinars on the NewBio Web page of Penn State University. The wood energy teams are partly funded through the Forest Service's Wood Innovation Funding Opportunity. The Clean Power Plan was announced by President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, providing the first national standards to address carbon pollution from power plants. Learn about the plan on the EPA Web site.

BOULDER, Colo.--The Joint Fire Science Program-North Atlantic Fire Science Network and The Nature Conservancy-LANDFIRE are cohosting this Webinar on March 16, 2016, at 12:00 Eastern. The webinar offers significant information and resources for managers of large landscapes, regardless of ownership or boundary lines, as they research and determine best-case scenarios for restoration activities. Learn more about this and other Webinars on the LANDFIRE Web page. LANDFIRE is a multi-partner programed aimed at characterizing vegetation, fire and fuel characteristics for the United States. In this webinar Randy Swaty will explore the presettlement vegetation and fire regimes of the Northeastern United States as modeled and mapped by LANDFIRE. Many of the datasets build upon one another, making them easy to work with and adapt for local use.  This work is enabled by the Biophysical Settings (BpS) models and descriptions, which Randy will describe.  Get details on the BpS update project.
Joint Chief's Landowner Coordination Workshop: Managing Oak-Hickory Forests

WASHINGTON--About 70 employees from the Ohio Division of Forestry and Division of Wildlife; the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the Wayne National Forest, Northern Research Station, and the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry of the U.S. Forest Service gathered in Jackson County, OH, in December, to gain a better understanding of each agency's role in the Joint Chief's Initiative, "Collaborative Oak Management in Ohio's Appalachian Forests." The project will coordinate integrated landscape scale inventory and management of oak-hickory forests to improve regeneration of oak using new silviculture tools, expanded outreach, combinations of forest stand improvement treatments and the removal of invasive species. 
Research and Development Launches National Newsletter
WASHINGTON--U.S. Forest Service Research and Development recently launched a national newsletter to inform customers, partners, and employees about new research results, services, and technologies. A customer service satisfaction survey recommended Forest Service Research be more proactive in notifying its customers of new research findings and developments. The newsletter, published monthly, will carry news from Stations and the national office. Read the January issue and subscribe.  
Watershed Agricultural Council Seeking Summer Education Intern
WALTON, N.Y.--The Watershed Agricultural Council has announced a paid Watershed Forestry Educator Internship for Summer 2016, with their teacher training and landowner education programs in the New York City watershed. Submit cover letter and resume by Friday, February 26, 2016, to the council at 33195 State Highway 10, Walton NY, 13856, or by email to
Send questions to .
Citizen Science Coordinator Position Available
ORONO, Maine--The Signs of the Seasons citizen science program coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant College Program is hiring an assistant coordinator for the 2016 season. Participants in the program use their backyards to help document the local effects of global climate change. Hundreds are trained to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals living in their own communities--a citizen science project that fills a gap in regional climate research. See the position announcement and the Signs of the Seasons program Web site. Contact Associate Director with questions. The position will be open until filled. 
Upcoming Conferences

Green Schools Conference and Expo, March 31 - April 1, 2016, Pittsburgh, PA.

National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 31 - April 3, 2016, Nashville, TN.

72d Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, April 3 - 6, 2016, Annapolis, MD.

North American Forest Insect Work Conference, May 31 - June 3, 2016, Washington, DC.

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