In letters to the leadership of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies this week, the nation's 59 state and territorial foresters underscored the value of the Joint Fire Science program:
The Joint Fire Science (JFS) program... provides the data we need to rate fire danger, make seasonal wildfire forecasts, and cost effectively reduce the risk of wildfire through fuels management and prescribed fire. In addition to helping state forestry agencies prepare for wildfire events, the JFS program also generates scientific data used to manage smoke from wildfires and develop remote sensing tools for wildfire management.
The program is administered in conjunction with the Interior Department and Forest Service and routinely allows us to partner across agencies and programs to leverage resources.
The 15 regional Fire Science Exchanges funded by the JFS program provide trusted, science-based information to land managers and owners throughout the country, that in turn, enables sound policy and on-the-ground decision-making related to wildfire, ecosystems, and hazard risk reduction.
The Fire Science Exchange Network distinguishes itself from other federally supported wildfire research programs in its emphasis on direct application. Members of the network convene workshops, field tours, webinars, and conferences, and in many states, work directly with wildfire managers to ensure management needs and questions are met and answered with scientific research.
The nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters support robust funding for this program, provided it does not come at the expense of programs of key importance to the nation’s State Foresters. The association also recommends that the JFS program’s priorities be driven by state and federal line officer requests and as part of a feedback loop that responds to their management needs.