USFS Regional Intermountain News

USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region
December Deliver Benefits

Volume 2 Issue 15 December 4, 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

December's theme is about how the Forest Service delivers benefits.

  • Sustainable land management practices enable forests and grasslands to produce goods and services to meet public demands, and to contribute to community and national prosperity, health and quality of life.
  • The national forests and grasslands are managed for timber, range, minerals, outdoor recreation opportunities, cultural and heritage resources, clean water and air, wildlife and fish, and a myriad of special uses such as communication and energy transmission.
  • It is critical that we continue to meet population demands by maintaining, improving, and conserving our watersheds and the health of ecosystems we manage.
  • The benefits derived from national forests and grasslands generate billions of dollars to the national economy, underpinning local economies in many rural areas and enhancing the quality of life in many communities.


All Forest offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018, in remembrance and to honor the life of George. H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States.  

In 1992, President Bush directed the United States Delegation to the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was the first global meeting of world leaders that recognized the value and importance of biodiversity to the functioning of our planet. It resulted in the Biodiversity Convention signed in 1993.

During the Earth Summit, President Bush announced the establishment of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. This announcement was formalized into Law in the Farm Bill that President Bush signed. Thanks to President Bush, Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson, Deputy Chief for Research Jerry Sesco, and Southern Station Director Tom Ellis, the Institute expanded its programs, including the addition of State and Private Forestry and International Cooperation units. The International Institute of Tropical Forestry became part of the Forest Service leadership.

Among the many accomplishments of President Bush, the support of tropical forestry and conservation should be one that we should all remember on Wednesday.

Story shared by Ariel E. Lugo, Ecologist Director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 

Regional Highlights

Sage Grouse

USDA Forest Service Announces Public Meetings on Greater Sage-Grouse Plan Amendments

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will hold four public meetings in Idaho regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for its Sage-Grouse Plan Amendments. On Oct. 5, 2018, the USDA Forest Service published a Notice of Availability (NOA) announcing the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with proposed amendments to Forest Service land management plans for greater sage-grouse. The affected plans occur within five western states: Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah. The purpose of the proposed changes is to improve the clarity, efficiency and implementation of the current greater sage-grouse plans, including promoting landscape-scale alignment with state efforts.The USFS is encouraging the public to attend DEIS public comment open house meetings in Idaho. Read more.

EKIP Sawtooth

Sawtooth National Forest shares Forest Service Responsibility and "Every Kid in the Park" Perks with Fourth Graders

On November 20,  the Fairfield Ranger District Office of Sawtooth National Forest educated Camas County's fourth grade class on what “a day in the life of a Forest Service Employee” truly looked like.

The students were able to experience many of the things that Forest Service employees do. In addition to seeing the workings of the office, employees showed students many “tools of the trade," including timber marking and measuring tools, pack and saddle stock, heavy equipment for building trails and fuel reduction, and a fire engine complete with an array of firefighting tools. Also, Sawtooth NF's wildlife biologists showed and explained how they raised falcons and used them to hunt. 

Afterwards, students received an "Every Kid in the Park Pass" and a Free Christmas Tree permit, which all fourth graders are entitled to as part of the "Every Kid in the Park" program.

Off Piste Play Button

Off Piste Re-Creates 2015 Avalanche Deaths of U.S. Ski Team Athletes

Emotions run high in the opening seconds of Off Piste: Tragedy in the Alps, a new film released by the Bryce and Ronnie Snow Safety Foundation (BRASS). Young athletes dig frantically in the snow searching for their two friends buried under meters of heavy, compacted snow. But it’s too late. Avalanches are a powerful force of mother nature. The very mountains that bring such life to skiers and snowboarders can just as quickly take it away. Off Piste: Tragedy in the Alps is a poignant reminder of that and a brilliant educational tool to help introduce skiers and snowboarders to basic steps to stay safe in the backcountry. The 13-minute film was produced for BRASS by Trent Meisenheimer and Arius Sorbonne from the Utah Avalanche Center, a partner of the Forest Service. It will be utilized at workshops produced by BRASS and other avalanche education organizations. 

Warren Barn Restoration

Warren Barn Restoration

As part as the USDA’s Strategic Plan: FY 2015-2020, the Forest Service delivers benefits by restoring Payette National Forest's Warren Barn. The Payette National Forest Heritage Program employees, local volunteers, Idaho Conservation Corp (ICC), and Youth Conservation Corp members (YCC) repaired a historic two-story hay and tack barn that was built at the Warren Guard Station in 1932. This barn is considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and exemplifies a style of Finnish craftsmanship. Starting in early June, local volunteers selected, felled and hauled the ideal standing dead lodgepole to replace damaged sill logs of the Warren barn. Additional volunteers and Forest Service Heritage Program employees joined efforts for a week of barn restoration projects. Many hours were dedicated to completing the repair work, but each day, workers and volunteers were happy to share knowledge and contribute their skills for preserving the architectural history of Warren and the Guard Station.

Click here to learn more about the Payette National Forest. 

Christmas Tree Permits

Christmas Tree Permit Sales Are Underway! 

As part as the USDA’s Strategic Plan: FY 2015-2020, the Forest Service delivers benefits in a holiday cheery way by coordinating with the "Every Kid in a Park" (EKIP) program which gives all 4th graders a free Christmas tree tag. All Forests in the Intermountain Region have began selling Christmas tree permits in November and will continue to do so for the remainder of the holiday season, while supplies last. Please Contact your local Forest for availability here.

4th National Climate Assessment Chapter 6 Figure 1

Forest Service Employees Write Chapter in Fourth National Climate Assessment

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. One of the ways the Forest Service achieves this is by participating in research and providing valuable information about forests in the National Climate Assessment. This year, the Forest Service had several authors involved in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, including chapter co-lead Dave Peterson. Peterson was also an instrumental co-lead of Region 4's climate assessment (IAP).

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years that analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity. It also asks for researchers to analyze current trends in human-induced and natural global change. This assessment was written to help inform decision-makers, utility and natural resource managers, public health officials, emergency planners, and other stakeholders by providing a thorough examination of the effects of climate change on the United States.

Stay Connected

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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