Fireworks are Prohibited on all National Forest Land

As the summer season begins, the National Forest Service reminds visitors that all fireworks, exploding targets and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on all National Forest land, year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest Fire Management Officer Riva Duncan emphasizes that, “Fireworks can and will cause wildfires because they burn very...

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The wild, complex world of wilderness rangers

When Drew Peterson tells people he works as a U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger, they may assume his job is defined by solitude. But that is not always the case: On a busy summer day, a wilderness ranger may stop to talk with as many as 300 people, such as on a recent day patrolling the popular Green Lakes Trail off the Cascade Lakes Highway. “It can take up to six...

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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail   Back in the United States after 20 years in Great Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by hiking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes — and to a writer with the...

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Oregon coast gets new national forest map, Tillamook to Coos Bay

Map collectors have another new one to buy. The continuing release of maps in the Pacific Northwest Recreation Series recently saw the publication of the Oregon Central Coast map. This replaces the Siuslaw National Forest map, which was last released in 1996. The new map sells for $8 at Forest Service offices (considerably higher at commercial outlets) and is printed on...

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Cleveland National Forest launches “photocaching” challenge

The Cleveland National Forest will soon introduce an interesting variation of geocaching that will challenge amateur photographers to re-create century-old photographs taken in the park. Forest spokesman Brian Harris said the forest has thousands of images dating to 1910, but in many instances there is little information about exactly where the photographs were taken....

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Forest Service Kicks Off Revision of Nantahala-Pisgah Management Plan

Kristin Bail, forest supervisor of the USDA Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina announced that the agency is beginning the formal process of revising the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan. The Plan will guide management of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests for approximately 15 years. “I am pleased to...

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Buckhorn Gap Trail to Twin Falls, Pisgah National Forest

Just southeast of the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest lies the Avery Creek area, a beautiful hardwood forest with plenty of water and a hidden pair of waterfalls known as Twin Falls. Access to the falls is via the Buckhorn Gap Trail, an easy to moderate track that first follows Avery Creek, then turns north alongside Henry Branch. The forest management work...

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Partnership Restores Hundreds of Acres in Grandfather Ranger District

Kristin Bail, forest supervisor of the U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina announced that a coalition of conservation organizations helped to restore hundreds of acres across the Grandfather Ranger District by treating invasive plants and performing other work over the past six months. Partners conducted the work as part of the Grandfather Restoration...

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Spotlight on 50th Anniverary of the Wilderness Act

Sept. 3, 2014, may be almost 700 days away, but planning for the celebration of that notable date, the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, is well under way and has been for at least two years. Already, the four federal agencies responsible for managing the National Wilderness Preservation System have joined national wilderness organizations in formally committing to...

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Fall Colors 2012

Coming soon to a forest and grassland near you. The U.S. Forest Service has launched their 2012 Fall Colors Web pages. They have some very useful tools to help plan your adventure to see fall trees and wildflowers this autumn. And there are fun things for the kids to do as well. As the Fall season progresses, check back regularly for new and exciting content. Learn about...

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Popular Timpooneke Trail to close at height of hiking season

One of Utah County’s most popular hiking trails is closing for a month at the height of the hiking season. Timpooneke trailhead leads to Scout Falls and eventually up to the top of Mount Timpanogos. Thousands of hikers would typically use the trail between August 5 and September 5, when the trail will be closed this year, said Kathy Jo Pollock of the National...

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Touting Arizona forest program as national model

Apache County’s forest-stewardship agreement with the U.S. Forest Service was held up at a congressional hearing Friday as a model for other governments trying to tame the growing problem of wildfires. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Flagstaff, said programs like Apache County’s contract to help thin the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest should be part of a national strategy of...

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Hikers on closed trails in fire zone could be fined $125

If you’re tempted to hike Greyrock, Hewlett Gulch, Young Gulch or any other national forest trail in the High Park Fire burn area of Colorado, the U.S. Forest Service says it might have a court date for you if you’re caught. Nearly the entire High Park Fire burn area within Roosevelt National Forest remains closed, but some people have been discovered hiking,...

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Saving Hemlocks In West Virginia

Among the oldest, most majestic trees in our forests are the hemlocks. Isolated stands of them date back 500 years or more. For decades, hemlocks in eastern states, most notably in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, have been under assault by an invasive species, the hemlock wooly adelgid. The tiny insect has devastated some hemlock forests, and it has made its way...

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US wildfires fuel urgency for forest restoration

As firefighters battle blazes in New Mexico and Colorado that have forced evacuations and destroyed hundreds of structures, the U.S. Forest Service chief is renewing his call to restore forests to a more natural state, where fire was a part of the landscape. Experts say a combination of decades of vigorous fire suppression and the waning of the timber industry over...

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Forest Service Issues Warning about Black Bears in Shining Rock Wilderness

The U.S. Forest Service is warning visitors to the Shining Rock Wilderness area of the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, to be on the look-out for black bears. While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have resulted in human fatalities. The warning comes after several bear encounters were reported recently in Shining Rock Wilderness, located...

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Forest Service gives advice on safe hiking and camping

As the summer hiking season approaches, the U.S. Forest Service reminds hikers to be prepared for whatever they might find on the trail and recommends websites that offer guidance on hiking safely and provide information on local trails, campsites and other information about the White Mountain National Forest. Those planning a hiking trip are encouraged to check out the...

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9th Circuit Court says visitors to national forest don’t have to pay a fee

In a decision that could bring an end to the national Adventure Pass program, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Forest Service cannot charge for hiking, walking, picnicking or visiting undeveloped areas of national forest land. In the unanimous ruling released Feb. 9 in favor of four hikers who objected to paying a fee to visit the forest, Judge...

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Forest Service restoring popular trail in Sequoia National Forest with boardwalk

It has taken almost half a year, but the National Forest Service has decided to use a boardwalk to restore a popular path taken out of commission by the fall of two giant sequoia trees last September. The Forest Service went through a lengthy public consultation process to determine what to do about the ruined portion of about 100 feet of trail within the Trail of 100...

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Hikers voices wanted: National forests ask trail users to step up and join the conversation

More than 5 million people hit the trails in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests last year — a number that continues to grow not only as more people move to the mountains but also as outdoor recreation increases in popularity. The use of trails is at an all-time high, but the money to maintain them is shrinking. The Catch-22 has prompted the forest service to...

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Thompson Creek and Pilot Rock Loop, Pisgah National Forest

Thompson Creek Trail climbs Thompson Ridge from Forest Road 1206 to a point just below the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway. To the southwest it overlooks the Cradle of Forestry National Historic Site and the Pink Beds. To the east it crosses from Transylvania County into Henderson County and joins the Pilot Rock Trail along the Slate Rock Ridge for the descent...

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National forest projects to improve wildlife habitat

Sometimes, removing a few trees is good for the forest — at least when it comes to wildlife habitat. That’s the idea behind a wildlife habitat enhancement project under way on national forest land in Madison County, one of a number of such initiatives planned in the mountains to benefit species ranging from bears to songbirds. The project, on 15 acres in an area known as...

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Boardwalk planned for trail where giant sequoias fell

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to build a boardwalk near the twin giant sequoias that toppled to the ground along a popular trail, an event that garnered national attention and a slew of suggestions about what to do with the ancient trees. The agency received more than 150 comments from the public, ranging from “cut them into firewood” to “leave...

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Wilson Canyon Nevada hiking trail now open to the public

The 3-mile hiking trail in the Wilson Canyon area near Reno, NV, planned since 2005, is now open to the public. The trail is on the south side of Wilson Canyon, southeast of the Walker River bridge. It begins at the trailhead situated at the parking area at the west end of the canyon, traverses over the ridge to the east, runs north back to the river and then along the...

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Fallen California Sequoia Stumps Park Rangers

Environmentalists suggest a massive tree that fell over at California’s Sequoia National Forest should be left where it is. The U.S. Forest Service is trying to decide what to do with the centuries-old sequoia that keeled over about a month ago along the forest’s Trail of 100 Giants. While the rangers mull over their options, the executive director of Sequoia...

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Bill would keep portions of Cherokee National Forest unspoiled

A few years ago, the University of Tennessee and the U.S. Forest Service surveyed public opinion about recreational uses of the Cherokee National Forest. Their research found the most popular recreational uses of the forest are driving for pleasure, viewing and photographing wildlife, fish or scenery, picnicking, day hiking and visiting primitive areas. Strong support...

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Damaged section of Vt. hiking trail reopens

WATERBURY (AP) – The last section of the Long Trail damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Irene has reopened. Officials say three miles of the trail in Shrewsbury remained closed for a month while the rest of the Long Trail had reopened weeks earlier. The Green Mountain Club said that it had proposed a detour of the damaged section of the Long Trail and Appalachian...

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Utah man wants to see original Aspen Grove trail reopened

For many people, September is the perfect month to hike Timp. Before the first snowfall and while the weather is cooler, Caine Alder likes to hike this popular trail. He begins in the Aspen Grove parking lot just up the road past Sundance Resort and follows a winding route past Emerald Lake to the summit of Mount Timpanogos – but his path diverges from most...

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