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HomeState & Private Forestry News
June 2015

The World Is All Abuzz About Pollinators!

A bee pollinating a flower
  (Photo: Jon Sullivan,

WASHINGTON--While many pollinators may seem like just annoying insects, they are actually a very important part of the web of life upon which we all depend. Unfortunately, pollinators have shown disturbing signs of decline in recent years.


"Pollinators play a critical role in our everyday lives, and it's important that we work to protect their habitat," says NACD President Lee McDaniel. "Pollinators form the underpinning of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment."  Read more and access a variety of resources on the National Association of Conservation Districts' Web site.


Outdoor Venues Draw Crowds, Sometimes Pest-Infested Firewood

DURHAM, N.H.--Transporting firewood increases the probability of introducing a new forest pest. Enforcement and awareness campaigns reduce but do not eliminate all long-distance travelers from hauling infested firewood; local forests are paying the price. Firewood is considered the most risky of wood products, in part, because it is transported by a wide swath of society, from commercial producers to campers. Also, it often undergoes little processing capable of killing insects and is often burned incrementally or not at all. Outdoor venues that draw crowds over long-distances are considered at higher risk for the introduction of invasive pests, and as such, are targets for both survey and outreach. An example of one such location is the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which hosts the two largest camping events in the State each year and is concerned about the spread of invasive pests. State forest rangers and their cooperators have explored ways to curb introduction of the destructive emerald ash borer. They have found that some people haul firewood from as far away as California, Washington, Canada, and Florida. Additionally, they found public awareness and enforcement together help to improve compliance somewhat, and that it also helps to repeat the message. New and alternative ways to increase compliance are needed. Read the press release on our Web site. 


Grant Awarded for Fuels Management on Prudence Island

Map of Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay
Prudence Island (in red) in Narragansett Bay is sparsely inhabited, but visitors increase the population tenfold in summer. (Source: Loodog,


The Northeastern Area recently awarded a Wildfire Risk Reduction competitive grant to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to address the immediate wildfire risk as well for the development of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan on Prudence Island. The plan will be supported by an active Firewise prevention program. Priority will go to protecting the interface community and vulnerable power supply to the island. 


Canadians Provide Assistance During New York Wildfire  

Fire Boss fixed-wing airplane
Fire Boss air tanker
(Photo: Global Jet,

BINGHAMTON, N.Y.--During the recent Roosa Gap Fire, which burned more than 2,700 acres in the Catskill Mountains, the New York State Division of Forest Protection requested aviation support through the Northeast Forest Fire Compact. In response, Canadian Compact member New Brunswick mobilized its "Fire Boss" air tanker. This fixed-wing airplane in 12-15 seconds can scoop up to 800 gallons of water to drop on a fire while continuing to fly. The Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry supports fire compacts through State Fire Assistance grants. Watch a 24-second video of the fire on YouTube.


Fire Compact Assists Long Island Threat From Southern Pine Beetle

ROCKY POINT, N.Y.--A Fire Prevention and Education Team sponsored by the Northeast Forest Fire Compact with support from the Northeastern Area was deployed to Long Island on June 7 to work on developing a public education and outreach campaign regarding the impacts and threats of the Southern Pine Beetle. The team participated at a media event at Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve that was covered by three television stations. This event follows a project to map the extent of the beetle infestation in April. Read a local account on 


Welcome, New Employee
Jen Youngblood
Jen Youngblood's work for the Department of the Interior took her to Girdwood near Anchorage, AK. (Photo: Courtesy of Jen Youngblood)


NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.--Natural Resource Specialist Dr. Jennifer "Jen" Youngblood recently joined the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry staff as liaison to the College of Menominee Nation. She brings to this position over 30 years of experience developing and managing programs from health care to environmental programs, and over 10 years working specifically in tribal environmental programs. Read more.

Turcotte Selected--Forest Health Group Leader, Morgantown  


MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--Rick Turcotte has been selected as the new Forest Health Group Leader for the Northeastern Area's Morgantown Field Office, where he has worked as an emtomologist since 2002. He has worked extensively with many of the invasive insects that impact forest health throughout the Mid-Atlantic States. He has also mentored many West Virginia University students over the years.


Turcotte has been through the USDA Graduate School Executive Leadership Program, which included a detail with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Raleigh, NC. He has also served in a Forest Service Washington Office detail. He is working on a doctorate in plant science at West Virginia University, with expected completion in fall 2015. Before his selection, Turcotte served as acting Group Leader, filling the position previously held by Dan Twardus.


Rick Turcotte officially begins the new position on June 28. You can reach him in Morgantown, by e-mail at or by phone at 304-285-1544.



Clark Selected--Creative Services Team Leader


MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--Sandy Clark has accepted the position of Creative Services Team Leader for the Northeastern Area Office of Communications. She brings to this position 13 years of experience as a visual information specialist in the Creative Services Staff, as well as a strong grounding in forestry. Sandy received her Bachelor of Science in forest management from the University of Maine and a Master's in silviculture with a minor emphasis in journalism from West Virginia University. She is excited to pursue her lifelong interest of combining science and communication as the lead of Creative Services.


Sandy began her Forest Service career as a forestry technician in 1987 on the Monongahela National Forest. Next she worked with the Forest Disturbance Ecology and Management of Oak-Dominated Forests Research Work Unit in Morgantown for 14 years, until she started with the Creative Services staff.


Her effective date as team leader is June 28. She fills the position vacated when Vicky Evans retired in April. Scientific Illustrator Juliette Watts in the Northeastern Area Headquarters Office, Newtown Square, PA, has been the acting Creative Services Team leader during the interim.


You can reach Sandy Clark in the Morgantown Field Office at or by calling 304-285-1511.


National Grasslands--A Conservation Success Story


Grassland vista in Southern Colorado
The Comanche National Grassland is in southeastern Colorado. (Photo:


WASHINGTON--Agriculture Secretary Vilsack proclaimed June 21-27, 2015, "National Grasslands Week" to call attention to the value of the Nation's 20 National Grasslands in 13 States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has managed these ecosystems for 78 years, for forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water, minerals, recreation, and other benefits for Americans. For information and resources on grasslands, visit the Forest Service's Web site.


Soils Support Recreation

Logo for 2015 International Year of Soils  


Learn about the soil under the horses' feet at Churchill Downs, where they run the Kentucky Derby--watch this month's video from the Soil Science Society of America on YouTube.


Teachers' Tours of Forests and Mills in July

AUGUSTA, Maine--Out-of-state educators are welcome too, on a 4-day tour of Maine's forests and mills. Become certified in Project Learning Tree, receive 30 contact hours, and earn 3 Continuing Education Units--for an additional fee. Choose one of two tours: Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains, or Leen's Lodge on West Grand Lake in Downeast Maine. Tours combine math, science, language arts, and social studies with information about forest practices, up-to-date technology, and promising research into new products. Participants will see modern harvesting and manufacturing technology, and enjoy on-site discussions with foresters, loggers, and operators. Registration is $115.00; space is limited. Call 207-621-9872, send e-mail to, or visit for information.

NAAEE Conference and Research Symposium, October 2015 


WASHINGTON--Learn more about the North American Association for Environmental Education 2015 conference in San Diego, CA, and register at Early bird registration is open until August 31. The 2016 conference will be held in Madison, WI.

Editor's Note

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