Pine resin in the blood

The area surrounding Hochatown, a once booming timber town, is now dominated by weekend rental cabins. Annie Hermansen-Baez and partners…  More 

Two decades of annual national forest health check-ups

For 21 consecutive years, researchers from the USDA Forest Service and partners at North Carolina State University have tracked the status and trends of forest health across the U.S.  Annual assessments of forest health are key to understanding whether year-to-year changes are part of longer-term trends. Forests constantly change because of tree mortality and growth,…  More 

New species of Southern Appalachian earthworms

Two species of earthworms, new to science, have now been formally described. My colleagues and I were studying the effects of the 2016 wildfires in the Southern Appalachian Mountains when we found a few earthworms that we could not identify. Back at the lab, we carefully examined the specimens and conducted molecular (DNA) analysis to confirm…  More 

Do property tax benefits for forest landowners work?

Every state in the U.S. has a program that lowers property taxes for people who enroll their private forestlands. But the programs may not work, according to a new review paper by USDA Forest Service research economist Greg Frey. Frey organized the review around two broad goals that the programs might have: keeping forests as…  More 

Understanding your taxes as a forest landowner

Tax implications for forest landowners depend on the activity or activities on your land. Tax Tips for Forest Landowners: 2022 Tax Year (PDF) can help forest owners understand the basics of forest-related federal tax provisions and how that relates to income tax planning. Tax Tips for Forest Landowners is an annual information and educational publication…  More 

The importance of Indigenous gathering practices

To the untrained eye, an old field may be unremarkable. At best it can be a place to spot wildlife, but few would consider it to have any importance to daily life. However, for the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik communities in Maine and New Brunswick, old fields are one of numerous habitats where plants are gathered…  More 

Diversity among foresters

Currently, the USDA Forest Service operates 24 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers all over the country—with 11 in the South—to provide training and education for young people. The Job Corps mission is to help young people ages 16 through 24 improve their lives through vocational and academic training aimed at gainful employment and career pathways.…  More 

Top Ten of 2022  

  We hope you enjoy this collection of the most popular CompassLive stories of 2022. Each article highlights the people, partnerships, and natural wonders of the South. For the past century, USDA Forest Service research has contributed to healthier, more sustainable southern forests.   _______________________________ New book on fire ecology and management across the U.S.  A…  More 

Wilderness areas: Uses, benefits, and stewardship

  In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Forest Service scientists, managers, and partners have published a new report that describes the benefits wilderness areas provide and proposes stewardship strategies for them. Wilderness areas are protected at a higher level than all other federally managed lands. They have expanded greatly since their…  More 

Rising seas are destroying homes – rebuild with wood to offset emissions

  As the climate warms and sea levels rise, homes and other structures on coastlines are being damaged or destroyed. Rebuilding with wood – whether on the coast or elsewhere – is the single biggest way that the losses could lower carbon emissions, reports a new modeling study by the USDA Forest Service. “Rising sea…  More