USFS Regional Intermountain News

USDA Forest Service Intermountain RegionOctober is all about sharing expertise globally.

Volume 2 Issue 13 October 1, 2018  


Welcome to another edition of the Regional Intermountain Newsletter! We appreciate the support we have received in regards to the information and content of our Regional Newsletter.

Past issues are available herefeel free to click on the suggestions link located at the bottom of the email and let us know of anything that can help improve the publication. 

Thank you for your interest and support on sharing information about your public lands.


Regional Intermountain News

October's theme is about how the Forest Service exchanges expertise globally.

  • The Forest Service provides land managers with the information, applications, and tools needed to improve nature resource management
  • Sharing knowledge, technology, and applications helps the global nature resource community manage land sustainably
  • To benefit from global knowledge, the Forest Service continually interacts with partners worldwide
  • By sharing information with and learning from our worldwide partners, we engage in a global conversation about forest and grassland conservation


october events

Regional Spotlight

BAER

U.S. Forest Service BAER Team Begins South Sugarloaf Post-Fire Assessment

The Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has assembled a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team to gather information; conduct an analysis; determine the values at risk on National Forest System (NFS) lands caused by the post-fire conditions; and recommend emergency treatments for the recent South Sugarloaf Fire.

The BAER Team consists of scientists and specialists including hydrologists, geologists, soil scientists, engineers, botanists, biologists, archeologists, range specialists, etc. The team will use field surveys, remote sensing data (e.g., satellite imagery), and science and economic-based models to rapidly evaluate and assess the burned area. A report will be generated that will identify immediate and emergency actions needed to address post-fire risks to people, property, and cultural and natural resources on NFS lands.

Some of the impacts from the fire that may be addressed include threats to public safety and increased risk of flooding, erosion, sedimentation, debris flows, new or expanded invasive plant infestations, and falling trees and rocks. Where the possible impacts to values-at-risk on NFS lands are severe enough and highly likely to occur, the BAER Team will make recommendations on short-term emergency stabilization treatments to mitigate or eliminate the expected impacts.

BAER emergency treatments may allow for more efficient passage of water to increase protection for infrastructures and watersheds from accelerated erosion, as well as improving roads and trails drainage features by removing outside berms, installing critical dips, and cleaning debris from culverts to prevent damage from post-fire runoff.

Other treatments could include controlled public access in certain areas to prevent unnecessary safety risks to the public or to ensure success of funded stabilization efforts; installation of safety and informational signage within or near the fire area; hazard tree and rock slide detection, and removal along trails and roads; and noxious weeds treatments within the burned areas.

The Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District and BAER Team representatives have met with the Shoshone-Paiute of the Duck Valley Tribal Council and scheduled meetings with affected grazing permittees. They have also met with interested stakeholders at a recent public meeting in Elko, Nevada. The team is planning additional public meeting that will be held in the areas of Mountain City, Owyhee, and Jarbidge over the next several weeks. The District will arrange a stakeholders’ tour of the South Sugarloaf Fire area once the fire area is determined safe for the public to reenter.

Over the next year, the District will assess the need to complete additional resource protection or repair roads, trails, or other infrastructure in the South Sugarloaf area that cannot be addressed through BAER or suppression repair authorities.

The U.S. Forest Service is also working cooperatively with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Administration to ensure that private landowners affected by the fire are made aware of various emergency-assistance programs that are available. These programs may be able to assist private landowners with protection or rehabilitation of private resources. More information may be found at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nv/programs/financial/ewp/ and https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/index

Additionally, the Forest is working cooperatively with the National Weather Service to install a remote weather station and implement updated flood forecasting to allow residents and travelers in the area to have the most up to date storm event, debris flow, and flash flooding information. 


defoliation

2018 Preliminary Insect and Disease Observations:

Payette National Forest

Forest Health Protection staff completed aerial detection surveys (ADS) covering the Payette National Forest on September 12, 2018. Survey data will be compiled and the comprehensive results will be distributed this fall. In the meantime, here are notable observations that we would like to bring to your attention. ADS data prior to 2018 are available here.

Subalpine Fir Mortality

Large scale subalpine fir (SAF) mortality was detected throughout the Payette National Forest. The majority of this mortality has been caused by balsam woolly adelgid (BWA). BWA is a non-native insect that will continue to have significant impacts on the SAF across the Payette NF in years to come. The distinctive white “woollies” indicating BWA infestation are visible in late summer.

Bark Beetle-Caused Tree Mortality

Significant areas of Douglas-fir beetle and fir engraver beetle activity were mapped across the Forest. These beetles cause heavy impacts to Douglas-fir and grand fir. Small scattered pockets of ponderosa pine mortality from western pine beetle and pine engraver (Ips species) beetles were also observed.

Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Defoliation

Douglas-fir and grand fir trees have been heavily defoliated this summer by the Douglas-fir tussock moth caterpillar on both the Boise and Payette National Forests. Populations of this native insect outbreak about once per decade in predictable locations across southern Idaho.  Trees have to be almost completely defoliated to die from damage caused by these caterpillars. Trees can also die from native bark beetles that make use of this new pulse of weakened trees in subsequent years. People and animals can have allergic reactions to the hairs of the caterpillars.

We expect additional defoliation next year in these areas. Due to seasonal timing of surveys, aerial detection was not able to map the full extent of the outbreak on the Payette National Forest. Forest Health staff have identified additional heavily infested areas with ground observations.

Contact Forest Health Protection for more information.

Disclaimer: Quicknote observations are based off preliminary draft data. Damage location, host, and causal agents are subject to change.


Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest app

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest App Now Available on Apple and Android!

This mobile app allows visitors to easily discover recreational opportunities on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, ranging from hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mining, wildlife viewing, and scenic driving. 
Whether you're seeking information about a favorite hiking trail, searching for a new camping area, or looking for a destination for viewing wildflowers or wildlife, turn your phone into an official recreation guide with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache (UWCNF) National Forests app. 

Here are some ways of using this app to ensure you're taking advantage of all the great tools and information available: Search for hiking, camping, picnicking, skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hunting, horseback riding, climbing, mountain biking, road biking, scenic driving, and OHV/ATV areas using our interactive mapping tools or by viewing lists of recreation opportunities on each forest. Zoom in maps and navigate to find information about any of the spectacular recreation sites. You can also obtain driving directions to the trail or campground.

To download the app, visit the App Store for Apple products and Google Play Store for Android.


Exchange Expertise Globally

international programs

U.S. Forest Service International Programs promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally. By linking the skills of the field-based staff of the U.S. Forest Service with partners overseas, the agency can address the world’s most critical forestry issues and concerns. International Programs regularly engages the agency's wide range of expertise. Wildlife biologists, forest economists, hydrologists, disaster and fire management specialists, and policy makers are among those who comprise the staff of over thirty thousand employees.

Since international cooperation is necessary to sustain the ecological and commercial viability of global forest resources and to conserve biodiversity, most of our work is done in collaboration with other organizations. Our partners include: Other U.S. Government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation and Foreign Agricultural Service; Multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; non-government organizations, such as Wild Salmon Center and The Nature Conservancy Universities.

The United States benefits from our work overseas. Innovative technologies are brought back home, cross boundary environmental problems are addressed, and opportunities to hone U.S. Forest Service skills are increased. We also support domestic economic and conservation interests through our work on combating illegal logging, protecting migratory species’ habitats, and controlling invasive species. The current challenges facing U.S. forestry community require a global approach. 


Africa Control Line

In Northwest DRC, Local Women Take the Lead on Fire to Protect Critical Habitat

Pauline Kumafi Geowa was deep into her daily routine of drying cassava when her two children ran into the village and raised the alarm on an approaching fire. Some villagers advocated for the usual response – gather a group of people, arm them with leafy branches, and attack the fire head-on. But Pauline calmly suggested an alternative approach, one that the village had never done before – gather the same group of people, arm them with hoes and other hand-held tools, and build a “control line,” a break in the vegetation that serves as a fuel-less barrier to an advancing fire. With Pauline at the lead, they did just that. Pauline then fought fire with fire – she ignited a burn from the control line that advanced into the oncoming fire. The two fires hit and burnt out. The village was saved. Click "visit" to view story.


international visitors

International Visitors Explore National Wild and Scenic River

As part as the USDA’s Strategic Plan: FY 2015-2020, the Forest Service exchanges expertise globally by hosting and educating international visitors through the US Forest Service International Visitor Program (IVP).

August 12-19, 2017, the Forest Service welcomed international visitors,  Mdodi, ZhangDuan (Duan) and HuangHe (Kevin) on the Flathead, the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers. During the trip staff and visitors covered just over 2000 miles (including going and getting and returning Duan and HuangHe to Coeur d’lene, Idaho), had a chance to talk about legislation, river management plans, visitor use management systems, monitoring, science and trends in use and environmental conditions on these rivers.

Staff put together a brief trip report to share with the University of Yunnan, which is part of the Forest Service International Programs office, Mdodi’s sponsor (Community Solutions Program) and the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The Forest Service Washington Office thanked the Flathead and Salmon-Challis National Forest for the hospitality and the vast knowledge shared with the international visitors during the trip. The Forest Service will continue to collaborate with these international visitors in the realm of environmental diplomacy in hopes of maintaining or improving quality of the environment and human life into the future for everyone. Read more.


Forest News

Johns Valley

Johns Valley Vegetation Treatments

In July, 2013 the Dixie National Forest signed a decision notice to implement the John’s Valley Vegetation project. The Environmental Analysis (EA) helped pave the way to implement a variety of wildlife habitat and rangeland improvement projects in this history-rich area. Much of the land in this area was originally homesteaded under the Bankhead Jones Act. After a few years of trials and drought, all of these homesteads were abandoned. As it turns out, Johns Valley is a pretty dry place. Most of the land has now reverted to public land management, and the Powell Ranger District now manages this landscape. Through the years range managers have tried various practices such as spraying, chaining, disking, plowing, seeding, etc. to improve the watershed and ecological function within this landscape. Over the last 100 years the area has become encroached by Pinyon and Juniper (PJ) conifers which has diminished the wildlife habitat and rangeland forage capacity. From 2013 to present, over 10,000 acres have now been mechanically treated within the Johns Valley Project area. The Utah Watershed Initiative (UWRI) has been the driving force behind this landscape restoration project.

During this five year period the Forest Service in cooperation with the UWRI and its partners have been able to award several large contracts that involved a variety of mechanical treatments. Treatments have varied by contract but have included: Lop and Scatter of upland PJ with chainsaws; mastication of PJ with excavators and front-end loaders; hand-thinning and piling or chipping within riparian and cottonwood galleries; chain harrowing of sage brush and aerial seeding where appropriate.

Through the UWRI process, the Dixie National Forest has been able to take National Forest funding and match it with partners and partnership funds to stretch public funding further and improve more acres of the watershed.  This project is truly a win for the Forest, its partners and the public that use these lands.


CLARK FLEEGE

Nursery Manager Clark Fleege Takes on the World

The first Forest Service nursery was established in 1902 to provide seedlings to the Nebraska National Forest. From there, the nursery program expanded to include facilities across the United States. Nursery growth was particularly rapid during the Great Depression to provide seedlings for the Civilian Conservation Corps reforestation efforts and soil erosion mitigation. The Forest Service maintains six operating nurseries today, continuing to advance the reforestation science for National Forests and other public lands.  Clark Fleege manages one of them on the Boise National Forest and shares his knowledge globally. Click "visit" to view story. 


salmon river

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 50th Anniversary

As part as the USDA’s Strategic Plan: FY 2015-2020, the Forest Service connects people to the outdoors by protecting its most precious resources so that the public can continue to enjoy them again and again. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act's passing. 

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed on Oct. 2, 1968, to preserve selected rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Of the approximately 3.6 million miles of streams in the U.S., less than one quarter of one percent – 12,734 miles – are protected by the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

The Forest Service is involved in managing nearly 5,000 of those wild and scenic rivers miles. Many of the wild and scenic rivers under Forest Service management offer an incredible spectrum of recreational opportunities that range from fly fishing to whitewater boating to places where the public can simply cool off and sit in quiet. These rivers are not managed to prohibit their use and enjoyment by people, but to protect them from overuse, instream developments, and other detrimental effects.

Rivers, or sections of rivers that are designated as 'Wild,' 'Scenic,' or 'Recreational' are protected through voluntary stewardship by landowners and river users, and through regulation and programs of federal, state, local or tribal governments. A singular river can have more than one designation. 

Wild Rivers are rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America.  The majority of the Salmon River -- which weaves through the Salmon-Challis National Forest- is designated as wild.

Scenic Rivers are rivers or sections that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is penetrated by the Snake River Headwaters, which is classified as wild, scenic, and recreational.  

Recreational Rivers are rivers or sections that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past. For example, Fishlake National Forest's Virgin River is wild, scenic, and recreational. 

In 1968 the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed by Congress to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. 

There are approximately 3.6 million miles of rivers in the United States.  Of these, 12,734 miles are protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  Idaho has approximately 107,651 total miles of river, of which 891 miles are designated as wild and scenic. More than 220 miles are designated on the Salmon-Challis National Forest and include the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, and the segment of the Salmon River from the mouth of the North Fork of the Salmon River downstream to Long Tom Bar. 

As the Act nears a half century of protecting some of our greatest rivers, join us in celebrating its accomplishments, while working for its future. 

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is hosting the Teton Plain Air painters, in cooperation with the Grand Teton Association to commemorate the Wild & Scenic Act 50th Anniversary between October 2 and 7. The painters will paint Wild & Scenic Rivers and streams found on the 3.4 million acre Bridger-Teton National Forest. The art will be on display at the Forest administrative office at 340 N. Cache Street in Jackson, WY on October 3. There will be a community open house and educational event on October 4-7 at the Forest office with a chance to view the paintings, see the work of local fiber artists and share their connection to the Wild & Scenic Rivers that flow through their public lands.

For more information on the act and events near you, please visit Wild & Scenic Rivers.


youtubesalmonriver
The Middle Fork of the Salmon has many irreplaceable cultural resources. Many of the sites have house depressions left behind by the Sheep Eater Indian Tribes. Please respect these sites by camping in designated areas. And leave artifacts where you find them. Help us preserve the stories of the past that are all over the river corridor in the form of pictographs by not touching them. As river users, you can be active stewards in protecting the resources for future generations to enjoy as you visit the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Forest Service Video by Charity Parks.

About Us

hiring

Wildland Firefighting Apprenticeship

The Forest Service is hiring for the Wildland Firefighting Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship program develops the knowledge and basic skills necessary to work as a wildland firefighter. Selected applicants will attend a 3,000 hour on-the-job learning program, which includes a two month-long residential firefighting academy at the Wildland Fire Training Center in McClellan, California. Apprentices will be paid and all costs of training will be covered by the Forest Service.

Duties

Wildland firefighter apprentices are involved with wildland fire suppression, management and control. They may be away from home for weeks at a time, often work long hours outdoors and may fly in helicopters, hike into mountainous areas or patrol on roads to access wildfires. They may also speak to the public about fire prevention. Other duties may include working in a dispatch or fire prevention capacity.

Duty locations are available across the United States. Check the Forest Service Jobs webpage for updates.

Help is Available

Helpful information about the application process is also posted on our How to Apply website. If you need additional information, please contact our Human Resource Management (HRM) Contact Center at (877) 372-7248, and press 2. The HRM Contact Center is available 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time), Monday through Friday.

Update: Selected applicants who applied in August for a wildland firefighter position will be contacted October 30 through November 17 for interviews.


batweek2018

Time to get Batty for Bat Week!

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. Bat Week is organized by a team of representatives from across the United States and Canada from conservation organizations and government departments. This year, it falls on October 24-31.

Worldwide, there are more than 1,300 species of bats. That’s almost 20 percent of all mammal species. Bats live almost everywhere on Earth except the most extreme desert and polar regions. So, no matter where you live, it is almost certain that there are bats living near you. 

Bats are often considered “keystone species” that are essential to some tropical and desert ecosystems.  Without bats, they would collapse. Many of the more than 1,300 bat species consume vast amounts of insects, including some of the most damaging agricultural pests.  Others pollinate many valuable plants, ensuring the production of fruits that support local economies, as well as diverse animal populations. Fruit-eating bats in the tropics disperse seeds that are critical to restoring cleared or damaged rainforests. Bat droppings (called guano) are valuable as a rich natural fertilizer. Guano is a major natural resource worldwide, and can provide significant economic benefits for landowners and local communities.

However, worldwide, about 24 percent of bats are considered critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable due to habitat loss, pesticide use, roost disturbances and destruction, over-harvesting for bush-meat, wind energy, and disease. Bat numbers in the United States and Canada have declined dramatically as a new disease, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), has killed over six million bats in just eight years.

As a leader in fungal pathology, invasive species control, monitoring design, and bat ecology, the Forest Service is working to save bats. We are collaborating with diverse partners to control the spread of the WNS fungus and reduce disease-induced mortality. 


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Let’s Stay Connected! 
And Additional Stories Across the Region

About the Region: Meet the forest, grassland and research station that make up the Intermountain Region. Get access to local contact information for all 12 forests located in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah.

Intermountain Strategic Framework 2017-2020
USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan 2015-2020

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