National Forest Foundation

NFF Blog

Welcome to the National Forest Foundation blog. Explore the various articles to learn more about our forests and places to play.

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NFF Grant Partners and Projects

Here’s the STOR-y: The NFF and Gunnison County Team Up to Create Stewardship Jobs

As with many mountain communities in Colorado, visitation to the Gunnison Valley is at an all-time high. Land managers observe that they have never seen our public lands as busy as they have been in recent years. NFF and Gunnison County officials acted urgently this past spring to prepare for the anticipated onrush of summer visitation. The partners quickly hatched the idea for the STOR Corps – a jobs-creation program modeled in-part after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1920’s and in-part after the youth corps model that is so successful today.

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Youth Discover the Importance of Stewardship in Southern Oregon

In June 2019, 20 high school students from Southern Oregon’s Rouge Valley met as strangers under towering ponderosa pines in the forested mountains above the town of Ashland. Selected through a competitive interview process, these juniors and graduating seniors would spend the next five weeks learning the basics of ecological restoration and forestry as part of Lomakatsi Restoration Project’s Ashland Watershed Youth Training & Employment Program (AWYTEP).

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Speaking with the Trees: NFF Grant Funds First Forest Therapy Trail On National Forest

For decades, any mention of “therapy” sparked the image of a patient lying down on a long couch, describing their dreams to a therapist with glasses and a notepad. Now, our broader definitions of therapy and its mental and physical health benefits allow us to push the boundaries of what is therapeutic, including our National Forests. Thanks to a Matching Awards Program (MAP) from the National Forest Foundation, community members and guides are currently designing and building the first certified Forest Therapy Trail on the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.

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Cutthroat Trail Construction Begins

​In mid-July, a cross-disciplinary group from the San Juan National Forest hiked a stretch of what will soon be known as the Cutthroat Trail, a roughly 5.5-mile trail situated above the East Fork of Hermosa Creek. This new multiple-use trail will be the first on the San Juan National Forest designed for E-bikes, but will also be accessible to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers wanting to explore the Hermosa area.

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How do you stop a mountain pine beetle outbreak from becoming an epidemic?

The question came to light early in the fall of 2019. USDA Forest Service entomologists had just conducted aerial surveys in coordination with the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). On-the-ground investigations followed. Soon specialists revealed their diagnosis: after decimating 3.4 million acres of forests across Colorado from 1996 until the epidemic finally ran its course around 2014 , mountain pine beetles were back, actively infesting approximately 600 acres of lodgepole pine forests across private and National Forest System lands in the Gunnison Valley.​

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The Pecos Wilderness and a New Generation of Stewards

At New Mexico Wild, we believe it is our duty to be good stewards of places like the Pecos Wilderness so future generations have the same opportunities to experience its vastness and beauty. Over a six-month span in 2018, we recruited 128 volunteers who contributed 938 hours of stewardship service to this beloved outdoor recreation destination.

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Restoring “Lost” Trails with Washington Trails Association

Trails link people and wild places. They allow us to connect with nature—and each other. But every year, budget declines and increasingly extreme winters and fire seasons have made it harder to keep our backcountry trails open and accessible. Without the maintenance they need, Washington’s trails are slowly becoming lost.

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Collaboration Grows Community

What began as a preliminary characterization at an orphaned hard rock mine in Illinois Gulch, a prominent drainage of the Upper Blue River, ultimately morphed into a collaborative effort to remove mine waste from the Illinois Gulch flow path on the White River National Forest.

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Fostering Connections to the South Fork Trinity River through Trail Building

Thanks to our partners at the National Forest Foundation (NFF), the Hayfork Youth Conservation Crew employed by the Watershed Center in Hayfork, California improved forest and stream health. Their actions reduced erosion and non-designated OHV trail-use while increasing public awareness around the incredible natural value of the South Fork Trinity River (SFTR) management area.

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Mountain Studies Institute’s long-term commitment to restore a rare, iconic fen wetland on the San Juan National Forest

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), a nonprofit, community-driven research and education organization in Southwest Colorado, partnered with the National Forest Foundation and the San Juan National Forest (SJNF) to restore Chattanooga Fen, a rare, iron-rich type of wetland, just north of Silverton, Colorado. MSI received funding through NFF’s Matching Award Program to engage youth and volunteers to help bring this decade-long project to a close.

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Unlikely Partnerships Help Improve Forest Resiliency

The North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative (the Collaborative) brings together stakeholders in the Upper Columbia region ranging from government agencies to local tribes, non-profit conservation groups and timber industry; all with the purpose of collaborating to improve forest resiliency. The Collaborative operates on consensus, and while the process can be slow, when agreement is achieved the results are tremendous.

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Mt. Columbia: The Final Year of a Historic Project

Mt. Columbia has experienced increasingly heavy foot traffic in the past decade. Prior to the new trail construction, hikers used a social trail that ascended straight up a loose scree field. The lack of a sustainable trail caused heavy erosion and damage to the fragile alpine ecosystem and the unstable trail conditions made for dangerous hiking.

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Growing Towards A New Style of Land Management in Alaska

The Tongass Transition Collaborative, supported by a Community Capacity and Land Stewardship grant from the National Forest Foundation, was created to ensure stakeholders are involved as the Tongass implements the Transition. Members include native corporations, local and national nonprofit organizations, and local businesses.

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Creating Sedona’s Western Gateway Trails

The 1998 revised Coconino National Forest Plan identified the Western Gateway area as an area of high importance. The revision identified the project area for use as a “trail access hub” to host a robust non-motorized trail system. Over the next two decades the project evolved into a community driven ~29-mile trail system with a major restoration component, approved on May 31, 2018.

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