Forestry Cooperative Assistance Act of 1978

The Forestry Cooperative Assistance Act of 1978 revised the authority of the USDA Forest Service to include providing financial and technical assistance to states and private landowners on a variety of forestry issues, including forest management and stewardship, fire protection, insect and disease control, reforestation and stand improvement, and urban forestry.

State Forestry Agencies

To learn more about forest resources and forest management in a specific state, click the last link featured in the dropdown menu that appears when you click on your chosen state above. This link will take you to the state forestry agency's website, where you'll find state agency contact information and more information about its programs. 

Registration and Licensing of Harvests, Operators, and Buyers

Every state uses a mix of voluntary and mandatory programs for registering, licensing, and/or certifying operators and professionals engaged in forest management, timber harvesting, and the buying/selling of timber products. In addition, private companies, state agencies, and professional societies, such as the Society of American Foresters, sponsor voluntary certification practitioner programs like the Certified Forester Program and Master Logger Program.  

Assessment Report of Lawful Harvesting & Sustainability of U.S. Hardwood Exports

The Assessment Report of Lawful Sourcing and Sustainability: US Hardwood Exports, 2017 expands upon data and information in an earlier 2008 assessment of U.S. hardwood product exports. The preponderance of evidence compiled for this 2017 update strongly indicates there is very low or “negligible” risks that U.S. hardwood exports contain wood from illegal and unsustainable sources based upon programs and requirements currently in place.

Forest Contractor Education and Training Programs

Forest contractor continuing education and training has become a critical component within the forest products industry in the U.S. Today, many forest product companies require their suppliers to and their employees receive continuing education and training from qualified professionals. For the most part, continuing education and training falls under the purview of state forestry associations or similar organizations. These organizations develop courses and offer them to forest contractors, provide certificates verifying attendance, and maintain records of attendance. This information is co

Sustainable Forest Management Certification

Third-party forest certification is a positive private sector innovation and one tool used to verify and enhance sustainable forest management. However, the United States federal government neither mandates landowners in the United States to become certified, nor does it have the mandate to oversee and verify the numerous certification schemes. Moreover, the federal government carefully avoids policies that would favor one certification system over another.

Forest Stewardship Program

The Forest Stewardship Program equips landowners with the information they need to sustainably manage their forests to the benefit of current and future generations. Through technical assistance services provided to private forest landowners by state forestry agencies, the program supports sustainable forest management, which in turn provides forest products, wildlife habitat, clean water and air, jobs, and opportunities for recreation.

Natural Heritage Program

Natural Heritage Programs help protect and conserve the natural heritage of states. Through a comprehensive inventory of rare plant and animal species and representative ecological communities - including the distribution, biology, status, and preservation needs of these species and communities - states identify their most significant natural areas and how best to conserve and manage them.