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HomeState & Private Forestry News
March 2016
Partnership Wins Wings Across Americas Award
The Forests and lakes of the Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest, permanently protected from conversion to nonforest use, will continue to provide habitat for many bird species. (Photo: ColdSnap Photography)

PITTSBURGH, Pa.--The 3-year effort to secure a conservation easement on forests in northwestern Wisconsin has been recognized by the 2016 Wings Across the Americas Habitat Conservation Award. This award recognizes the innovative partnership among the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and The Conservation Fund, and their collective work on the Brule St Croix Forest Legacy Project. The exceptional Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest is important for its valuable water resources and wildlife habitat and will remain undeveloped in perpetuity, under a Forest Legacy conservation easement held by the State of Wisconsin. 

The conservation of this 65,867-acre forest is the result of an initiative started in 2012 by the State of Wisconsin--the State's largest initiative to date. Acquisition of the conservation easement was completed in two phases: 44,678 acres were conserved in 2012 with an $11,260,000 investment by Wisconsin's Knowles Nelson Stewardship fund; then 21,189 acres were conserved in 2015 with USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy funding of $3,750,000 and an additional Knowles Nelson Stewardship investment of $1,865,000, to meet the required Federal match. Permanent protection of the forest supports the goal of bringing back from near-extinction the Kirtland's warbler, which has been under recovery planning since 1976.
Forest Service Studying Ash With EAB in Pennsylvania

WARREN, Pa.--State and Private Forestry, the Allegheny National Forest, and the Northern Research Station have begun a 10-year conservation study of white ash affected by emerald ash borer (EAB). Twenty-seven plots with stocking densities ranging from 23-203 ash trees per plot were selected. In each plot, 20 trees were treated in summer 2015. The main goal of this collaborative project is to conserve genetic diversity of white ash on the forest. Lead researcher for the project is Kathleen Knight.

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Forests Sign Good Neighbor Authority Agreements

DULUTH, Minn.--The U.S. Forest Service recently signed a Good Neighbor Authority master agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that will boost collaborative management of the State's forest lands. The master agreement between the State and the Chippewa and Superior National Forests follows similar agreements signed by national forests in Michigan and Wisconsin. The agreement allows the State to supplement work done by Forest Service staff on national forests. Learn more at the KDAL610 Web site.
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International Day of Forests Is
March 21
International Day of Forests logo

ROME--Did you know that about one-third of the world's largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas? Every year on International Day of Forests, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations celebrates the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year they are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet's supply of fresh water, which is essential for life. Watch a short video on this topic from FAO on YouTube.  For information and materials visit the FAO's Web site.  
World Water Day is March 22

GENEVA--Hundreds of millions of people do not have access to freshwater. World Water Day is held annually on March 22, since 1993, as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. In 2016, the theme is "Water and Jobs." Watch "One water for sustainable development" on YouTube-featuring the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Stockholm Water Prize Laureates. Visit the UN-Water Web site.
Research Proving Nature Is Good
for Us
Trees in park with dusting of snow on ground_ cars and homes in background
(Photo: George Hodan, publicdomainpictures.net)
 
WASHINGTON--The body of evidence is growing-nature can help people heal from stress, sickness, or trauma. The benefits are both long and short term, mental and physical. They can come from community green spaces as well as wilderness. Find free research, articles, and case studies, on adult and children's health topics, on the American Society of Landscape Architects Web site.
 
Ecosystem Services Has Role in Preventive Medicine

ASHVILLE, N.C.--"Ecosystem Services and Preventive Medicine: A Natural Connection," by Forest Service researcher and lead author Viniece Jennings, was recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Jennings works with the  Integrating Human and Natural Systems unit of the Southern Research Station. Evidence suggests that contact with green spaces (parks, forests, gardens, for example) can benefit physical and mental health. Read more and access the full article on the Southern Research Station Web site.  
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Future Forests of the Northern United States Published

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.--Future Forests of the Northern United States, part of the Northern Research Station's Northern Forest Futures Project, was recently published online, along with an interactive "data dashboard" that encourages exploration of future forest scenarios in the station's 20-State region. The analy­ses and report were developed by 30 collaborators from the Northern Research Station, Southern Research Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and several universities. The data dashboard was developed by Jim Lootens-White. Access the publication and dashboard on the Northern Station's Web site.

Increasing Drought Threatens Almost All U.S. Forests
Steep hillside with healthy_ discolored_ and dead evergreen trees
"Many tree species may not be able to expand into more favorable habitats fast enough." (Source: NSF. Photo: U.S. Geological Survey)

ARLINGTON, Va.--Forests nationwide are feeling the heat from increasing drought and climate change, according to a new study by scientists from 14 research institutions.

"Over the last two decades, warming temperatures and variable precipitation have increased the severity of forest droughts across much of the continental United States," said James Clark, lead author of the study and an environmental scientist at Duke University.

Clark and colleagues published their paper in the journal Global Change Biology.

Read the news release at the National Science Foundation Web site.
Maple Syrup Production Gets Early Start
SALEM, N.Y.--Sap began to flow early this year bringing some maple syrup producers out as early as January in New York. The State is the second-largest producer of maple syrup in the United States and has produced record amounts of syrup in recent years. A number of factors contributed, including the weather, which can still make or break another record year.   Read this in the New York Times.
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Do Not Prune Oaks--Avoid Spreading Oak Wilt
Dead oak trees in woods behind a house
Red oaks are very susceptible to oak wilt. New infections occur in spring, and symptoms develop in summer. (Photo:  Joseph O'Brien)
 
ST. PAUL, Minn.--The onset of the "high risk period" for overland transmission of oak wilt disease will arrive soon. Oak trees are at high risk when oak wilt fungal mats are present on trees killed the previous year by the disease and when nitidulids (sap-feeding beetles) are active. The onset of high risk occurs earlier as you go farther south and varies with weather conditions. The "rule of thumb" for the Upper Midwest is to avoid pruning or wounding oaks during the months of April, May, and June, and over a correspondingly longer period of time to the south. Nitidulids, carrying spores of the fungus, can be attracted to fresh wounds on oak trees. When visiting these wounds, nitidulids can transfer spores to the oaks, initiating oak wilt disease infections.  To avoid infection, all wounds to oak in the spring should be treated immediately with wound dressing or paint. New symptoms of oak wilt disease usually are apparent in July and August. More information can be found in the publication   How to Identify, Prevent, and Control Oak Wilt.
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Some Above-Normal Fire Activity Predicted This Spring

BOISE, Idaho--The Predictive Services section of the National Interagency Fire Center has issued a Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for March through June. The cumulative forecast is that parts of the eastern United States will have above-normal fire potential at times. Read the outlook at the Fire Center's Web page. 
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Free Riparian Buffer Environmental Education Series

ANNAPOLIS, Md.--Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry's Chesapeake Watershed Forestry office has teamed up with the Farm Service Agency and others to hold a series of webinars directed to technical assistance providers, encouraging restoration and conservation of riparian forest buffers. View past webinars, see upcoming topics, and participate at chesapeakenetwork.org.
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Learn Chainsaw Safety from a World Champion
Close-up of wood that was cut with a chain saw_ showing saw marks
(Photo: Petr Kratochvil, publicdomainpictures.net)
MISSOULA, Mont.--Montana State University Extension Forestry together with Forestry Professional and hot saw world champion Scott Kuehn share their knowledge and experience of using chainsaws in two videos on YouTube.   Learn about the saw in the first video, and learn about cutting trees with the saw and hazards you are likely to encounter in the second. The presenters recommend watching both videos.
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Pruning: What, Why, When, and How

ST. PAUL, Minn.--Eric North, research fellow with the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources has put together basic guidelines and references. Read about it in the MyMinnesotaWoods newsletter from the university.
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New "We All Need Trees" Materials Free Online
Logo art with tree in center and these words_ We all need trees. Air. Water. Shelter. Food. Clothing. Soil.
WASHINGTON--The National Association of Conservation Districts has developed high quality materials for their 2016 Stewardship and Education Program and made them available for free electronic download. Both high- and low-resolution files are available along with printing specifications. This project is a collaborative effort with the USDA Forest Service and Project Learning Tree.   Access the materials at the National Association of Conservation Districts Web site.
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Mosquito and Tick Information

AUGUSTA, Maine-The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Corps developed a school-based curriculum program for both tick and mosquito information. This program includes educator's guides, PowerPoint presentations, activity books, interactive activity instructions, and pre- and post-tests and answer keys. View the curriculum information and activities on the State's Web site. The site includes links to a video on YouTube that can be viewed for general information on mosquitos and ticks.
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How Long for a Fallen Tree to Decompose?
Trunk of a fallen tree without bark on the forest floor
(Photo: Mark Coldren, publicdomainpictures.net)
SAINT PAUL, Minn.--Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Minnesota collected data from downed logs in forests across the United States and built a mathematical model. The model shows how fast different tree species break down. The model can be used to predict how global warming might change the decomposition process and to calculate the carbon stocks in a forest. Read more in Northern Woodlands magazine.
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National Aviation Conference Held

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.--The Northeastern Area States Aviation Committee hosted the 2016 National State Aviation Conference, facilitated by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, in February. State and Federal aviation managers met to discuss aviation management and aircraft operations. This Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters and Northeast Forest Fire Supervisors committee represents aviation in the Northeast. Presentations addressed the future of unmanned aircraft and building relationships with military units. Also included was accredited instruction on Public Aircraft Law (PL103-411) that affects all governmental aviation operations.
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Quiz: What Is Your Wildlife Personality?

  Find out at the National Wildlife Federation blog.

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Vacancy: Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, NatureBridge

SAN FRANCISCO--The Mid-Atlantic Regional Director provides the strategic leadership for the sustainable growth of NatureBridge programs in the Mid-Atlantic Region (Prince William Forest Park and Shenandoah National Park). The Regional Director will serve on NatureBridge's senior leadership team, and will represent NatureBridge in Washington, DC, the Mid-Atlantic Region, and in East Coast engagements as needed. View the announcement on the NatureBridge Web site.
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Upcoming Conferences

Children and Nature Network 2016 International Conference and Cities and Nature Summit, May 24th - 27th, 2016, Saint Paul, MN
 
Sudden Oak Death Sixth Science Symposium, June 21 - 23, 2016, San Francisco, CA
http://ucanr.edu/sites/sod6/About_the_Symposium/
 
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Editor's Note

Send items for inclusion in "State and Private Forestry News"to rburzynski@fs.fed.us by the first of the month in which you want the item to appear. Include a related photo as either a jpg or tiff file with a resolution of 150 dpi or higher. As part of the text include a full-sentence caption for the photo and photo credit. If the photo is from a published or copyrighted source, also send the permission.