http://www.fs.fed.us/research/ Texas Forest Service Research and Development (FS R&D) delivers research to Texas through the Southern Research Station (SRS), which is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, and has field offices in College Station and Nacogdoches, Texas. SRS has 12 employees in these Texas locations. Texas has more than 60 million acres of forested land, 12 million of which are comprised of commercial timberland in East Texas. These counts make Texas one of the most heavily tree-covered states in the nation and the third highest timber-producing state in the South. The Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest is located in Texas. Texas Funding History NACOGDOCHES -- SRS-4159 Southern Pine Ecology and Management, SRS – 4156 Center for Forest Disturbance Science, and SRS-4160 Forest Genetics and Ecosystems Productivity TEXAS TOTAL FY 2013 Enacted ($) FY 2014 Enacted ($) FY 2015 Budget ($) $981,269 $1,107,279 $975,730 $981,269 $1,107,279 $975,730 FY 2015 Program Changes The President’s Budget includes a decrease of $3,493,000 from the FY 2014 Enacted for SRS. Funds will be used to address regional and national priorities, such as invasive species research and watershed management. Important ongoing research, including work addressing climate change, forest restoration, and forest inventory and monitoring will continue. SRS scientists evaluate longleaf pine ecosystem plant diversity. Southern Research Station Overview SRS serves 13 Southern States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Staff is organized into Research Work Units at locations throughout the region. SRS employs over 103 scientists and many more technicians and administrative personnel covering a diversity of disciplines. The FY 2015 President’s Budget for SRS is $44,785,000, of which $14,629,000 is for annualized Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA). In addition, $2,282,000 is provided for National Fire Plan research. SRS will also receive a competitive share of the national amount of $6,914,000 for the Joint Fire Science Program. FY 2013 Key Accomplishments: Longleaf pine woodlands of the southeastern U.S. are fire dependent ecosystems. Overstory structure determines fuel distribution and fire behavior, and influences development of a rich understory plant community. By identifying the mechanisms that drive patterns of plant communities, SRS scientists are helping managers develop restoration practices that promote ecosystem diversity. As one of the most widely grown southern pines, loblolly pine is ecologically and economically important to industry in the South. SRS and the Texas Forest Service evaluated genetic variation in loblolly populations to evaluate genetic factors affecting growth, productivity and disease resistance. Genetic characterization generated important information on the extent of genetic diversity and inbreeding, and led to identification of genes that may be involved in important biological functions. This information will contribute to development of genome selection protocols and refinements in the loblolly breeding program. Intensively managed forests are considered an avenue for increasing carbon sequestration and providing biomass material for a variety of forest products. SRS, North Carolina State University, Virginia Tech, ArborGen and MeadWestvaco investigated the interaction between genetics and silviculture on forest productivity and soil carbon in fast growing clonal loblolly pine. Results indicate that proactive management of soil organic matter coupled with enhanced genetics can significantly increase stand productivity and increase soil carbon storage. This research should help industry in refining loblolly management, thereby reducing the costs. Using wood for energy raises issues for nearly every aspect of forest management. SRS, North Carolina State University, the Swedish Agricultural Institute, and Virginia Tech University evaluated economic impacts of using wood for energy. Results show that this technology could have financial benefits for private landowners and forest products industry. Sustainability of wood for energy will depend upon the extent of land acreage used and the amount of logging residue left on site. Timber supply responses to the potentially large and rapid expansion of the wood bioenergy sector in the U.S. will be crucial to ensuring sustainable forests. riority Research in in Michigan Priority Research Texas Forest Service R&D priority research areas build on existing local and regional research to solve issues important to the American people. Priority research activities in Texas include: Forest Disturbance: Managing forest ecosystems to sustain desired benefits, such as clean water and healthy forests, requires knowledge of how forests change over time in response to natural disturbances and management activities. There is a need to understand how to help our forests adapt to disturbance, including developing novel species compositions, and restoring forest and wetland function. SRS scientists will evaluate the carbon footprint of prescribed burning and begin to assess how wildland fire might be included in carbon policy. Watershed Management and Restoration: With a growing population competing for a finite supply of freshwater, sustaining healthy watersheds to protect the nations’ water supply is critical to the social and economic well-being of the U.S. SRS is conducting long term studies to assist land managers with restoring and protecting watersheds throughout the region. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA): The FIA program provides current conditions and recent trends in the area of public and private forest land in the U.S. For the first time, a comparable inventory covers the entire state, including central and west Texas. In central and west Texas, data to quantify forest fire fuel loads is being collected to assist in determining forest fire risk. Localized Needs Research in Texas Focusing on critical regional and local research issues, SRS provides research results and tools and technologies including: Restoring native prairie in Texas: Prairies are one of the most endangered habitats in North America. Numerous small isolated prairies exist on the Sam Houston National Forest; however, most are highly degraded due to alteration of the historic fire regime. SRS scientists and land managers are working together to restore these habitats through an intensive program of mechanical removal of encroaching woody plants and an aggressive prescribed fire regime. FOREST SERVICE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (FS R&D) is a world leader in innovative science for sustaining global forest resources for future generations. Research findings and products benefit forest and rangeland managers, and everyone who uses goods or services from forests. We operate five research stations that encompass all 50 states, the Forest Products Laboratory located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry located in Puerto Rico. Our researchers and support personnel are located at 67 field sites throughout the United States. We also maintain 80 experimental forests and ranges across the Nation. Our unique ability to integrate science and decision making and to work across boundaries between public, private, and tribal lands through strong partnerships advances the Agency’s three core themes of restoration, communities, and fire. The FS R&D program has two components: Priority Research Areas and Strategic Program Areas. The Priority Research Areas address urgent needs in seven areas: Forest Disturbance, Forest Inventory and Analysis, Watershed Management and Restoration, Bioenergy and Biobased Products, Urban Natural Resources Stewardship, Nanotechnology, and Localized Needs Research (region-specific needs). The Strategic Program Areas (SPAs) are the long-term programs from which Priority Research Areas are funded. The seven SPAs are: Wildland Fire and Fuels; Invasive Species; Recreation; Resource Management and Use; Water, Air, and Soil; Wildlife and Fish; and Inventory and Monitoring. The FY 2015 President’s Budget includes $275,315,000 for Forest and Rangeland Research, $19,795,000 for the FS R&D National Fire Plan, and $6,914,000 for the Joint Fire Science Program.