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HomeState & Private Forestry News
February 2017
Not Lost in Transition
Head and shoulders photo of a woman
Kathleen Atkinson
(Photo: USDA Forest Service)
MILWAUKEE --- To the uncertainty that comes with the change in administration has been added a shared leadership pilot between the Forest Service Northeastern Area and Eastern Region (Region 9). I began this pilot with a certainty: the work we do is important. Working with our partners to keep forests as forests is directly tied to improving the lives of millions of Americans.

As a result of this leadership pilot, the Area and Regional leadership teams will be working together more often and more closely than ever. Leadership and staff alike have talked about boundaries --- culturally and on the map --- for a long time. I see great promise for this pilot to be an all-lands approach to our National Forests and the forests of the 20 Northeast and Midwest States. I'm excited because the Area and Region have so much to learn and share. I know some people are similarly excited, while others are uneasy or concerned about the future. A range of feelings exists between the highs and lows.

Many people have asked how we will determine whether the shared leadership pilot works. A team of Forest Service employees (from the Washington Office, Northeastern Area, and Region 9) and State foresters together will develop outcomes and measures by which to evaluate the pilot. The team will provide feedback --- both pros and cons --- to the Chief of the Forest Service on how well the goals of the pilot were met. The team will be guided by a charter, which is being reviewed by the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters Executive Committee.

Today is the start of week 4 of the pilot. Acting Deputy Regional Forester Jim Barresi and I were marveling that in these few short weeks we have seen so many opportunities to expand on the already existing coordination between the Area and the Region. While we may not have all the details of the pilot ironed out, I am certain that the working relationship between the Area and the Region will be even closer at the end of the pilot. I am also certain that your daily work is important and valued.

I ask that you continue to focus on the great work you do for the public, and reach out to your coworkers who may be uneasy with so much change. I look forward to learning more about the Area, the work you do, and to meeting you.

--- Kathleen Atkinson, Area Director
February 13, 2017
Community Forest Program Assists Purchase in New York State
Photo of snow covered woods and stream.
(Photo: Neal Bungard)
DURHAM, N.H. --- The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance closed January 30 on the purchase of 353 acres of property appraised at $300,000, of which $150,000 came from a Northeastern Area Community Forest Program grant. The East Nassau Community Forest in eastern New York State will be managed by a local committee and will be open to the public for recreation. Plans for the forest include programs for the public and school children, forest landowner education, and training for professional loggers. This acquisition is the 13th for the Northeastern Area's Community Forest Program and brings the total acreage to over 5,000. Read the news release from the Plateau Alliance. Learn more about the community forest on the Rensselaer Plateau Web site. Get a short introduction and aerial tour of the plateau on Vimeo, from the Alliance's first acquisition in 2015.

Did you know? ... The U.S. Forest Service works across landscapes, uses best available science, and collaborates with partners, to maintain, enhance, and restore public and private forests and grasslands.
Decision Support for Community-Based Deer Management
Photo of two deer in the woods
ST. PAUL, Minn. --- The Community Deer Advisor is the result of collaboration between Cornell University and The Nature Conservancy, to help communities manage deer at a local level. The management recommendations on negotiating the process of Community-Based Deer Management are based on social science research and lessons learned from case studies in multiple states.   Access the Community Deer Advisor at the Cornell Web site. (Source: University of Minnesota Extension and Department of Forest Resources, February 1, 2017, My Minnesota Woods) 
Insects Persisted in Firewood Longer Than Expected
Photo of insect larvae inside a hardwood log
Woodboring larvae were found in firewood cut from a northeastern hardwood forest after a tornado. (Photo: Kevin J. Dodds)

DURHAM, N.H. --- A recent Northeastern Area study published in Agricultural and Forest Entomology concluded that potentially damaging wood-inhabiting insects can survive in downed trees and logs used for firewood for up to several years following a major storm. "It was a little surprising that even after 3 years, we still found insects associated with recently killed trees emerging from firewood," said study author and Forest Entomologist Kevin Dodds. This discovery adds another note of caution to the movement of firewood and other wood products. Moving firewood long distance is a major contributor to the spread of tree-killing invasive insects. Access the study in the Wiley Online Library.
Podcast:  Children, Nature, and the Importance of Getting Kids Outside
Photo of woman and three children hiking in woods
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. --- A shift towards sedentary lifestyles has far reaching impacts on children's health, including increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, asthma, and attention deficit disorders. A podcast from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) tells how spending time in nature can increase physical activity, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and improve children's sense of emotional wellbeing. It also tells how health professionals and unique initiatives are working to prescribe nature to improve the health of children and their communities. View the podcast and other health information on the NIEHS' Web site.
Get Kids Outside: Tracking Wildlife in Your Neighborhood
Photo of animal tracks in dried mud

According to The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science Blog, one of the most family-friendly wildlife activities is tracking. It is often the best way to discover elusive animals that roam your neighborhood. Winter is a great time for tracking, when snow cover creates new areas where tracks can be seen. Access an online field guide to animal tracks on the Conservancy's blog.
Forest Health Staff Welcomes New Members
Photograph of a woman in a forest
Forest Entomologist
Laurel Haavik
PHotograph of a man sitting next to a large aspen tree
Plant Pathologist
James J. Jacobs

ST. PAUL, Minn. --- Two new staff members who joined Northeastern Area Forest Health in January will be stationed in the St. Paul, MN, field office. Read more about Forest Entomologist Laurel Haavik and Plant Pathologist James J. Jacobs.

Summer Internship Opportunities

Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, DE, is offering a 12-week summer internship program for college undergraduate students or recently graduated students majoring in horticulture, landscape architecture, ecology, or related plant science fields. Application deadline is March 1, 2017.   Learn more at the Center's Web site.

The Watershed Agricultural Council, Yorktown Heights, NY, is accepting applications until February 24, 2017, for a paid 10-week Watershed Forestry Educator. The intern will assist with teacher, student, and landowner education in the New York City Watershed, including the Watershed Forestry Institute for Teachers and Learn more. Direct questions to Tyler Van Fleet, 914-962-6355, ext. 21.
Don't Carry Others' Germs Around With You
Touching contaminated surfaces (and then touching your face) is one way to pick up illnesses, such as the flu, whooping cough, and acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), from contaminated surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning hands in this way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others:
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Learn more about keeping hands clean on the Centers' Web site.

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