Forest Service

Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest/USFS

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have called on the U.S. Forest Service to increase the scale and speed of large forest-thinning projects in the state. They say more work is needed to protect the forests from catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Melissa Sevigny

Nuclear power has gained more attention as a clean energy source. The raw material needed to make that power is uranium; and the highest-grade uranium deposits in the nation are near the Grand Canyon. The federal government has halted new uranium mining in the region, but old mines can still reopen.

Ryan Heinsius

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the City of Flagstaff have signed off on the final draft of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. It’s designed to thin National Forest land surrounding the city and safeguard it from the effects of catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Susan Meyer, USDA Forest Service

Invasive cheatgrass has taken over native desert ecosystems and worsened wildfires across the West. To reverse that trend, researchers are studying the potential of a seed-killing pathogen called “the Black Fingers of Death.”

USDA Forest Service Active Fire Mapping Program

The U.S. Forest Service now has a better view of wildfires from space, thanks to a new agreement with NASA.

The agreement gives wildland fire managers access to data from a satellite imaging system called VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite). In the daytime, VIIRS can theoretically detect a flaming fire just 50 square meters—about the size of a small house. At night, VIIRS can detect a fire five times smaller. That’s an improvement on current technology, called MODIS, which routinely detects wildfires about 1,000 square meters in size.

Jeff Servoss/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Forest Service must reexamine a plan for allowing cattle to graze near Fossil Creek on the Coconino National Forest. A court has ruled the current plan jeopardizes habitat for the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog.

Three-quarters of a million dollars will be spent to thin more than 2,300 acres of forest land near Prescott. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, in recent years the wooded areas surrounding the city have become especially fire-prone. 

Ryan Heinsius

The public comment period for a major forest-thinning project in the Flagstaff area will end Mon, Aug. 18. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the project could involve heavy thinning in some of Flagstaff’s most picturesque areas.

Extremely dry conditions have pushed up fire season by about a month on northern Arizona’s forests. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the Flagstaff community is already taking precautions.

The Kaibab National Forest released a revised management plan after nearly a decade of work. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the plan focuses on contending with increased wildfire and climate change.