USDA Forest Service

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State, federal forest management agencies increase collaboration under Good Neighbor Authority

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that federal and state forest management officials signed a Good Neighbor Authority agreement, a tool to improve forest health, including efforts to suppress the unprecedented southern pine beetle epidemic that includes nearly 4,000 infestation spots on four ranger districts.

NASF Annual Report

The NASF Annual Report highlights accomplishments by the nation's 59 State Foresters and their staffs to advance policy, communications, and operations priorities that help protect and enhance America's "green infrastructure": trees.

Agriculture Secretary Perdue Names New Forest Service Chief

WASHINGTON (August 21, 2017)—Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named Tony Tooke the next Chief of the USDA Forest Service. The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) congratulates Chief Tooke on his appointment and gives thanks to outgoing Chief Thomas Tidwell for his leadership and service. Chief Tidwell announced his retirement on August 18 and will retire September 1.

Virginia Department of Forestry Signs Good Neighbor Authority Agreement

The USDA Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) have signed a Good Neighbor Authority master agreement that provides a framework for cooperative efforts that enhance national forestlands and their watersheds.  With this agreement, the two agencies will now partner to address some of the most pressing environmental concerns facing the national forestlands in Virginia.

Don't Fly a Drone Over A Wildfire

The National Interagency Fire Center says unauthorized drones have been detected over or near wildfires 17 times this year in nine western states. Of those incidents, 14 caused aerial firefighting operations to be grounded entirely. In 2016, unauthorized drones cropped up near wildfires more than 40 times, grounding air operations more than half the time.

“Any time an unauthorized drone is detected over or near a fire, it’s a serious situation,” said Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service.

Fires Test Performance of Tall Wood Buildings

Wood buildings provide an array of economic and environmental benefits, and interest in capitalizing on those benefits by constructing mid- to high-rise buildings using cross-laminated timber (CLT) is growing.

CLT is made from layers of dried lumber boards stacked in alternating direction at 90-degree angles, glued and pressed to form solid panels. These panels have exceptional strength and stability and can be used as walls, roofs, and floors. Additionally, calculations have shown that a seven-inch floor made of CLT has a fire resistance of two hours.

2016 Communities at Risk Report

The Communities at Risk Report helps provide a national snapshot of wildland fire risk, preparedness and capacity in fiscal year 2016.

The data show progress to identify communities at risk of wildfire and those that are moving toward reducing risk, as well as increased capacity through the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans and other methods.

Coalition Praises Introduction of Bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Bill

June 8, 2017 (Arlington, Va.) — The Partner Caucus on Fire Suppression Funding Solutions, a broad, bipartisan coalition of conservation, timber, tribal, recreation, sportsmen and employer groups, praised Representatives Mike Simpson (R-Id.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) for introducing the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017 (WDFA). The bill would change how the federal government budgets for the suppression of large wildfires to make that process similar to the way other disasters are funded.