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HomeState & Private Forestry News
March 2018 
Leadership Note
Head and shoulders of a smiling woman in front of two flags.
Kathleen Atkinson
MILWAUKEE --- Last Monday, we held a virtual Regional Partner Roundtable with 15 units and over 200 partners, fostering engaging dialogue between agency staff and partners on the topic of Environmental Analysis and Decision Making (EADM). The response from our partners was truly inspiring!
Deputy Regional Forester Mary Beth Borst, Associate Deputy Chief Chris French, and Director of Planning, Appeals, Litigation, and Landscape Scale Conservation Tony Erba provided national and regional context on the EADM change effort. This set the stage for individual unit-level conversations with partners to identify issues and concerns they experience in EADM processes, as well as brainstorm creative solutions. At the end of the day, each unit shared top takeaways from their discussions with the group at large. Common themes included a desire to see the agency make larger scale decisions that authorize more work on the ground, and increased public engagement.
The Roundtable was truly a collaborative effort that capitalized on the unique diversity and geographic footprint of the Forest Service Eastern Region. I want to thank the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie for serving as host, Chris French for being on site to convey the importance of this effort, National Forest Foundation's Marcia Hogan for serving as facilitator, and the leadership of Mike Tighe who served as Regional Point of Contact for the Roundtable.
By the end of March, each Region and the Washington Office will have hosted a Partner Roundtable. Collective learning from the Roundtables will be used to meaningfully contribute to the EADM effort. The Roundtables were a jumping off point for external engagement. I would encourage everyone to continue the conversation, and look for additional ways to engage the public on EADM as well as other USDA Forest Service change efforts (Forest Products Modernization, Oil and Gas Leasing, Land Exchange Process, Land Authorization and Access, and Efficient Infrastructure Delivery).
USDA Forest Service staff can access more information on EADM on the National and Regional EADM SharePoint sites.
Kathleen Atkinson
Area Director, Northeastern Area, and Regional Forester, Eastern Region

New Report on Human Health Benefits of Urban Trees
A tree-lined street.
Street trees can capture air pollution. (Courtesy photo by
WASHINGTON --- The new USDA Forest Service report, Urban Nature for Human Health and Well-Being, summarizes the best available science to help natural resource professionals, planners, architects, educators, health professionals, and community advocacy groups effectively communicate the health benefits of nature to their constituents. The report provides an overview of current research in five key areas: pollution and physical health, active living, mental health, stress reduction, and social health, cohesion, and resilience.
Access the report  on the Vibrant Cities Lab website.
International Day of Forests: "Forests and sustainable cities"

ROME --- Since 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been encouraging local, national, and international efforts to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests on March 21, International Day of Forests. This year's theme is "Forests and Sustainable Cities." Visit the web page at FAO's website.
World Water Day: "The answer is in nature"
View of sky through tree canopy.
GENEVA --- World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is "Nature for Water" --- exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century, such as planting trees to replenish forests. Learn more  at the World Water Day website.

Avoid Spreading Oak Wilt During High Risk Period
Two cabins in front of stand of trees.
Red oaks are very susceptible to oak wilt. New infections occur in spring, and symptoms develop in summer. (Photo: Joseph O'Brien, retired U.S. Forest Service)

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. Nitidulids carry spores of the fungus. The beetles can be attracted to fresh pruning cuts or wounds on oaks and transfer the spores, initiating infection. To avoid infection, all wounds to oak in spring should be treated immediately with wound dressing or paint.

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. 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 on the Northeastern Area Web site.

Funding Available for Agriculture Education
ANNAPOLIS, Md. --- The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will make $500,000 available for projects aimed at enhancing agricultural literacy in K-12 classrooms. Funding is offered through NIFA's Agriculture in the Classroom program, which helps students better understand the role of agriculture in the world. The application deadline is May 1. Learn more at NIFA's website.
Green Innovation Challenge for Youth
MONTREAL --- North American youth aged 18 to 30 are invited to enter the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's (CEC) innovation challenge to compete for seed funding and a chance to present their idea to North America's top environmental officials at the 2018 CEC Council Session in Oklahoma City, OK. From all the ideas on the platform, nine semifinalists will be invited to develop their innovative ideas into full proposals. Learn more  at the Commission's website.
New Video on Sustainable Forestry
View of sky through tree canopy.
ST. PAUL, Minn. --- Forest management, specifically timber harvesting, sometimes gets a bad rap because of unsustainable forestry practices used during the late 19th century. Times have changed, and now professional foresters and loggers can use science-based decisions to ensure that forests can supply everlasting quality materials. Check out this new 12-minute video  about Forestry in the Lake States, on Vimeo.

Earth Hour
A burning candle.

The World Wildlife Fund urges you to turn off your lights on Saturday March 24, 2018, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, to join the global event to conserve energy and commit to caring for the planet.
Visit the website .

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