Black Hills National Forest launches new Web site

An image of <a title=Harney Peak from the new Black Hills National
Forest Web site forestphoto.com. (Courtesy of Karen Wattenmaker and
Black Hills National Forest)” src=”http://www.idcnetworks.com/sd_files/y2BtqG1W.jpg” />

Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien announced in a news release this week the launch of the new forest Web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

“Our new site has lots of the information people need to plan vacations, keep up with wildfires, and find out about plans, projects and events,” Bobzien said.

Also featured on the new site are educational resources and historical archives of photos and video about the forest and Forest Service.

Bobzien said recent presidential executive orders, laws like the Freedom of Information Act and congressional intent that government be transparent and open are guiding government efforts to build responsive Web sites. The companion media support site at forestphoto.com allows people to search, browse and download documents, photos, videos, and audio files that would otherwise not be available due to file size or search ability.

The new Web site has features including RSS Feeds for both news releases and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Projects.

The homepage includes general information about the Black Hills National Forest, the latest news, messages from forest leaders, and current fire danger. A Twitter link will be useful in following special events or emergency information.

Some new sidebar features include “Special Places,” with information on the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, scenic byways, scenic overlooks, American Indian and pioneer culture and history, and historic sites. The “Learning Center” provides information on the Black Hills including images and information about different animals, plants, ecology and geological features.

New technology allows individuals with historical information or current images or files to work with the Forest Service to share their information with the public. Individuals may post photos, video, audio, or documents like video transcripts (subject to some conditions) useful for public purposes and such use (other than commercial use) is free to the government and public.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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