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Texas’ Fall Foliage

Texas Scenic Views leads Texans to fall foliage.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Forest Service launched Texas Scenic Views in celebration of the first day of fall. This new online application helps Texans find the most impressive views of fall foliage and spring wildflowers throughout the state.

Users can preview routes, view photos, read reviews, and download directions to their mobile device while browsing scenic points and drives. The crowdsourced application displays a map that shows the current rating of each route to help users find the best displays of fall foliage.

“Texas has many extraordinary places to view scenic landscapes. This application helps connect users with those majestic hardwood forests, stunning bluebonnet fields, and inspiring wide-open spaces that define this great state,” said Hughes Simpson, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Systems Department Head.

As Texans explore and enjoying fall colors, they can upload their photos of fall foliage to Texas Scenic Views and rate and comment on the routes they travel.

Texans have an excellent reason to get outside and explore. Exposure to forests and woodlands decreases mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind, as well as providing a sense of security.

By taking a drive to scenic outdoor areas, Texans can embrace the health benefits provided by trees and green space and gain an appreciation for their value.

“Medical research is increasingly showing the numerous, positive health benefits of trees in our everyday lives. This application helps Texans enjoy the natural beauty of this state while positively impacting their health,” said Simpson.

In the spring, Texans can use the app to find routes that showcase beautiful wildflower displays.

Texas A&M Forest Service provides statewide leadership to assure the state’s trees, forests and related natural resources are protected and sustained for the benefit of all. Conserving Texas’ trees and forests, the state agency helps property owners maintain the land and natural resources. It ensures forestlands remain productive and healthy not only for the environment but for generations of Texans to come.

Visit https://texasforestinfo.tamu.edu/txscenicviews/home to visit Texas Scenic Views.

Find more information about the health benefits trees provides at http://healthy.southernforests.org.

 

The first web application of its kind started in Texas and hopes to attract forestry business to the South.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Forestry officials from across the United States unveiled a new web application this week. It helps communities, investors, and wood buyers determine the supply of available forest resources in a given area and make more informed decisions on where to locate wood-based businesses in the U.S. South.

Texas A&M Forest Service, the Southern Group of State Foresters, National Association of State Foresters and USDA Forest Service developed the Southern Timber Supply Analysis application, accessible at southerntimbersupply.com. By utilizing the web application’s maps, users can estimate the amount of timberland, standing timber, and growth and removals within a specified distance or trucking time of any site in the Southern United States. Data is updated regularly and readily shows areas that have an abundant and sustainable supply of forest resources.

“Exemplifying the power of this web tool is the recent decision by Angelina Forest Products to locate a $100 million sawmill in Lufkin, Texas,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Division Chief Operating Officer Burl Carraway. “Using our timber analysis information, they determined that the area offers an abundance of sustainable forest resources as well as a talented workforce familiar with the industry.”

Now such information is accessible across the South. Based on the Texas program, the Southern Timber Supply Analysis web application is the first of its kind in the nation, granting public access to timber supply data to anyone with access to the internet in a user-friendly format.

The digital tools are free to use, readily accessible, and can generate reports and insights that can easily be shared. The devices can be used to proactively recruit wood-based businesses to the South, identify areas on which to focus restoration efforts and make stronger, more informed decisions on behalf of the Southern economy.

The South accounts for over half of timber production in the United States. The region boasts more than 250 million forested acres, 87 percent of which are privately-owned. It covers 13 states, each with its unique mix of wood resources, manufacturing innovations, and investment opportunities.

In Texas, forestry contributes $32.5 billion in economic activity, 144,500 jobs and $8.4 billion in labor income to the state economy.

Data used in the Southern Timber Supply Analysis application comes from Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA), a USDA Forest Service program conducted in partnership with state forestry agencies. The app is a project of the Southern Group of State Foresters. It was funded in part by the USFS and developed by Texas A&M Forest Service for the 13 southern states.

For more information on the Southern Timber Supply Analysis application and how Texas A&M Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters support forest-based economic development, visit https://www.southernforests.org/services.