Members of the National Association of State Foresters’ executive committee held Congressional briefings on May 4 to introduce decision makers to state Forest Action Plans and convey the importance of consulting these important documents when making forest management decisions. In attendance were key staff members from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and member offices, USDA Forest Service staff, and regional state forestry association staff.
NASF President and Wisconsin State Forester Paul DeLong provided a national perspective as well as details about how his state Forest Action Plan has helped address Wisconsin’s top priorities and the three priorities for state and private forestry.
Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser and Georgia State Forester Robert Farris shared on-the-ground accomplishments such as invasive species, prescribed fire and mechanical thinning projects, among other achievements. Their Forest Action Plans help address challenges and target limited resources in the landscapes where they are needed most.
The Forest Action Plans were authorized by the forestry title of the 2008 Farm Bill, which set into motion landmark changes in the way trees and forests on all lands will be managed, conserved, used and enjoyed today and for future generations.
When completed in 2010, the action plans became first-ever comprehensive suite of statewide forest resource assessments and strategies as part of a national effort toward protecting and sustaining healthy forests. Individually and as a whole, the Forest Action Plans are an invaluable asset to the nation for forest conservation decision-making across all forest ownerships.