Under section 8204 of the Farm Bill, states are given the opportunity to request desgination of landscape-scale insect & disease infestation areas on National Forest System lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. To date, 36 states have submitted requests to the Forest Service for such designations under the Farm Bill authority. NASF is encouraged by the strong state response to this opportunity. As outlined in NASF Resolution 2013-4, state foresters remain concerned that the current level of active management is insufficient to address the magnitude of forest health problems on National Forest System lands. The pace and scale of active forest management must increase substantially to restore our National Forests to a more sustainable, resilient condition, in order to continue to derive the benefits of a viable forest products business sector, clean air, clean water, recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat, and commodities for our nation’s economy.
“The lack of active management on federal lands is threatening the continued flow of social, economic, and ecological values from our federal forests as millions of acres continue to be altered by insects, diseases, and uncharacteristic wildfires” said Chris Maisch, Alaska State Forester and President of NASF. “State foresters applaud the bi-partisan effort of Congress to provide states with this opportunity to highlight the scope and scale of the insect and disease epidemic on the National Forest System.”