Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ailanthus Wilt Research Study, Wayne National Forest, Ohio

The USDA Forest Service’s Wayne National Forest and the Northern Research Station is conducting a field trial of a native fungus (Verticillium nonalfalfae) as a means of killing the non-native invasive tree Ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima). This biological control method could be more cost effective than past treatment methods that rely on the use of chemical injections. This podcast was produced in partnership with the USDA Forest Service’s Wayne National Forest and the Northern Research Station to promote a greater awareness of the research study.

Friday, May 1, 2009

USDA in Ohio: Progress Report on the First 100 Days

For Immediate Release

USDA Office of Communications: (202) 720-4623
USDA Forest Service Contact: Gary C. Chancey, Wayne National Forest,
Public Affairs Officer (740) 753-0862

USDA Working to Foster Rural Economic Development, Provide Nutritious Food for all Americans

Washington, DC - April 28, 2009 – On the 100th day of the Obama administration, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack reflected on the new course his Department has set to promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply, to ensure that America leads the global fight against climate change, and to revitalize rural communities by expanding economic opportunities.

“In the first 100 days of this new Administration, USDA has moved quickly to respond to these difficult economic times by creating jobs, increasing food aid to those in need and revitalizing rural communities,” said Vilsack. “Over the next 100 days and beyond, we will continue our hard work to ensure that as an every day, every way Department, USDA helps our nation fight against climate change, provides a nutritious diet for all Americans and maintains a strong safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

In Ohio, the USDA is working to live up to Secretary Vilsack’s expectations for focusing on conserving our natural resources and mitigating global warming. In the first 100 days, the Forest Service distributed approximately $398,000 of economic stimulus funds for an energy efficiency project on the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. The project creates local jobs while providing for future energy conservation and lower energy costs.

Throughout the country USDA has taken swift action to implement the Farm Bill and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. These actions have resulted in bold new projects and initiatives that will spur rural economic activity and contribute to the nation’s overall financial health.

Since January:

•USDA has distributed all of the nearly $170 million in Recovery Act funding for direct farm operating loans. The funds went to 2,521 producers in 47 states and nearly 20 percent are going to socially disadvantaged producers.

•USDA has worked with state partners to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by $80 each month for a family of four. Over the next two years, this benefit increase will create or save 100,000 jobs.

•USDA announced $84.8 million in Recovery Act funding to improve water quality, increase water supply, decrease soil erosion, and improve fish and wildlife habitat in rural communities. And just yesterday, we announced more than $600 million in funding to provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns in 34 states. These efforts will create jobs and revitalize rural communities.

•To make America a leader in the fight against climate change, Secretary Vilsack has worked in collaboration with the Department of Energy to make $25 million available for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products.

•To ensure better health for America’s children, USDA has updated the WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) to begin distributing new food packages which for the first time include fruits and vegetables, whole grain products and reduced-fat dairy options.

Finally, USDA has kept faith with the American people by working to deliver a government that is open and transparent, responsive and accountable to the American people. In the first 100 days, USDA has cut waste and avoided unnecessary costs saving the American taxpayer tens of millions of dollars. Secretary Vilsack has also made civil rights a top priority, taking definitive action to improve the Department’s record and to move USDA into a new era as a model employer and premier service provider.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, August 29, 2008

Watershed Restoration Project Bat Monitoring

ForestNet Videocast: Watershed Restoration Project Bat Monitoring
Host: Gary C. Chancey, Wayne National Forest, Public Affairs Staff Officer
Guests: Katrina Schultes, Wildlife Biologist and Todd Weinkam, Biological Sciences Technician on the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. Enjoy Podcast#004

Watershed restoration activities on the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio are aimed at finding solutions to problems created by coal mining in the late-1800s to mid-1900s. A primary goal is to improve water quality, while also addressing safety issues and wildlife habitat potential. An example of one problem the Wayne National Forest is attempting to address is Acid Mine Drainage (AMD).

It is a serious problem caused by water mixing with coal mine remnants to become acidic water laden with dissolved metals and sediment. After contamination, AMD flows out of underground mines and into streams and rivers, degrading water quality and devastating aquatic life.

The Wayne National Forest has undertaken several AMD source-control projects. The goal of these projects is to prevent surface water (the “source”) from flowing into underground mine complexes and becoming AMD. This is usually done by filling subsidences that capture stream water and other surface runoff. Mine openings have also been routinely closed as a safety precaution, since old mines are often mistaken for caves by the public. The mines are unstable and may be filled with poisonous gases, making them unsafe to enter.

Sometimes these activities conflict with the maintenance of underground habitat for bats. Five species of bats in Ohio, including the endangered Indiana bat, rely on caves or abandoned mines for critical fall and winter habitat for breeding and hibernation, respectively. Since southeast Ohio has few natural caves, bats exploit manmade underground spaces, such as abandoned coal mines.

During the fall breeding season, bats use the mines as stopovers during migration. They engage in a behavior called swarming, in which bats gather at night and fly in and out of mine openings, before they eventually stop inside to mate. Swarming encourages breeding between colonies and the healthy mixing of gene pools. During winter, bats also use some of the mines as hibernation sites.

Closing holes into the mines can eliminate suitable habitat, or entomb animals, if work proceeds when bats are present, and can also disrupt airflow which is an important component of a hibernation site.

Safety concerns prevent entry into abandoned coal mines to look for the presence of bats. Thus, U.S. Forest Service biologists survey mine openings for bat activity during the fall season when bats are actively flying in and out of openings. Biologists set nets or traps up in front of a mine opening and capture bats to see which species and how many might be using it. Information about each bat captured is written down on a datasheet, and then the bat is released.

Where bats are present, it is desirable to design watershed restoration projects, especially AMD source-control projects, so that the mine openings can be left open safely while meeting restoration goals. The Wayne National Forest has used several techniques to achieve these objectives. One way is to erect a bat-friendly gate across the opening, which allows movement of bats and air in and out but prevents people from going inside.

Another way is to reconstruct a stream channel to go past an existing mine opening, so that water stays on the surface and does not flow underground. After restoration work is completed, U.S. Forest Service employees return to the mine openings for more fall swarming surveys to monitor whether or not the work affects bat activity and to determine if the chosen techniques achieved the other restoration goals.

Close cooperation between U.S. Forest Service employees and the use of innovative ideas are required to mesh stream restoration, safety, and wildlife habitat conservation goals into successful watershed restoration projects.

Possible links to include:

Bat Conservation and Mining

Bat Conservation International

White-nose Syndrome

Enjoy Podcast#004

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Returning Forest to Presettlement Conditions

ForestNet Audiocast: Returning Forest to Presettlement Conditions
Host: Gary C. Chancey, Wayne National Forest, Public Affairs Staff Officer
Guests: Greg Nowacki, Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region and Gary Willison, Wayne National Forest, Group Leader for Watershed, Engineering, and Timber programs. Enjoy Podcast#003

Recreation Fee Increase Takes Effect

ForestNet Audiocast: Recreation Fee Increase Takes Effect
Host: Gary C. Chancey, Wayne National Forest, Public Affairs Staff Officer
Guest: Carleen Yocum, Wayne National Forest, Group Leader for Recreation, Heritage, and Wildlife and Botany programs, (Duration: 9:18 min.), 6.4 MB, MP3. Enjoy Podcast#002

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Forest Service Biologist Searchs for Mussels in the Ohio River

ForestNet Audiocast: In 2008, The Forest Service hopes to start work on the New Frontier Boat Launching Facility near Marietta, Ohio. Prior to construction, specialist are completing their prework to make way for the project. Wildlife Biologist Becky Ewing from the Wayne National Forest spent a great deal of time in 2007 searching for a couple of endangered Mussels in the Ohio River near Marietta, Ohio. None were found, but the work did discover numerous Mussel species in the water. Enjoy Podcast#001.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation Aerial Flight

ForestNet Videocast: Aerial photography taken from a helicopter in the Black Hills National Forest Sunday and Monday, August 19 and 20, 2007 shows the devastating march of beetles across many areas of the Black Hills.
Particularly hard hit areas include upper Spring Creek near the Medicine Mountain Boy Scout Camp, the entire forested area around Harney Peak, the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, parts of Custer State Park, and a large area around Deerfield Lake. Ponderosa pine forests that have been thinned, prescribed burned, and logged are shaking off worsening pine beetle attacks and increasingly difficult wildfires, officials say.

Black Hills National Forest News Release

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nebraska National Forest Bessy Tree Nursery

ForestNet Videocast: The Nebraska National Forest Bessy Tree Nursery maintains 46 acres of irrigated seedbeds, along with a controlled environment greenhouse. The Nursery also maintains the U.S. Forest Service's Region 2 Seed Bank. The Nursery extracts, cleans, and stores seed obtained from cones and berries supplied by its customers. The seed is used to grow seedlings for customers requesting seedlings or shipped to customers who want to directly sow the seed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

“Paha Sapa” – American Indian Use of the Black Hills

ForestNet Audiocast: Donovin Sprague, Director of Learning at Crazy Horse Memorial and Executive Director of First Nations Heritage Association presents “Paha Sapa” – American Indian Use of the Black Hills during a Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (NFAB) meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Forest Service Beretta Road Clean-up

ForestNet Videocast: In 2005, volunteers from the Black Hills area of western South Dakota came to the Beretta Road Clean-up located on the Black Hills National Forest. The clean-up was considered a huge success due to the volunteers showing up and making a committment to assist in keeping their public lands litter free.

Friday, June 29, 2007

"Experience The Outdoors" Day in the Black Hills

ForestNet Videocast: The Black Hills National Forest and its campground concessionaire, Forest Recreation Management, Inc. (FRM) held their second annual "Experience the Outdoors" (ETO) Day at the Horsethief Lake campground on Wednesday, September 13, 2006.
Approximately 60 to 80 developmentally disabled adults were the guests of FRM and the Forest Service at an event held to highlight the outdoor opportunities that can be found throughout the Black Hills National Forest.

Black Hills National Forest News Release

Lakota Reburial Ceremony in the Black Hills National Forest

ForestNet Videocast: On May 15, 2007 the remains of four tribal ancestors were reburied in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota during a Lakota Ceremony.

Rev. Robert Two Bulls, a retired Episcopal priest, laid the remains to rest at a spot chosen by a Lakota spiritual leader. The four people, including two young girls and an adult male, are about 150 to 200 years old.

At one point, the remains of one of the girls was on public display. Her bones were sitting in museums and other collections until Donovin Sprague of First Nations Heritage Association stepped in to repatriate them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Travel Planning Audiocast For 5-22-2007

ForestNet Audiocast: The Forest just wanted to take a few minutes to publish this videocast update of where we are in the travel planning process on the Black Hills National Forest. It's been a few months since we met with over 450 people in meetings in the Black Hills.

We have been very busy in the meantime, gathering information from you and from our staff specialists, working to finish our travel analysis, and starting to put together our initial proposal for you to look at later this summer.

Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien took some time today to record his thoughts on videotape, and the Black Hills National Forest public affairs staff put together a ForestNet Videocast. We invite you to take a few minutes and listen to Craig's remarks.

If you have questions please contact: Tom Willems at or (605) 673-9217, Frank Carroll at or (605) 673-9216 or contact Craig direct at or (605) 673-9200.

Thanks for your participation. You have helped shape our initial proposal and you will have another chance to participate in detail later this summer. Stay tuned...