About the Forest

Did You Know?

Sometimes, for one reason or another, an escape to the forest with your family is not possible; you just have to stay indoors. But have no fear; these online distance learning initiatives from the USFS, the Prince William Network and their partners will bring nature right to your home. The FSNatureLIVE programs are electronic field trips and online resources that will connect your family to the great outdoors, from your computer!

For example, did you know that we have two kinds of rain forests, right here in the U.S.? Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are home to some of the most spectacular temperate rain forests in the world, while Puerto Rico houses the only tropical rain forest in the United States. What makes these areas rainforests? Lots of precipitation such as rain, fog, or snow (minimum of 100 inches per year) and, you guessed it, a lot of trees! The difference is that temperate rain forests are dominated by coniferous trees and an average annual temperature between 39-54°F, whereas tropical rain forests are dominated by broadleaf species of trees and are warmer throughout the year at an average temperature of 70-90°F.

Speaking of coniferous trees, did you know that the oldest known tree in America is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, known as Methuselah, that lives high in the White Mountains of Inyo County in eastern California? Its age is estimated at 4844–4845 years, meaning it was already almost 300 years old when the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed! Compare this with other temperate forest trees, who average 500-1,000 years, and you’ll see that this tree is truly one of the wonders of nature.

Check out the link below to access a variety of webcasts that offer an up-close view of some of nature’s interesting animals and processes. Visit http://www.fsnaturelive.org/ to see what’s new.

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