The sign-on of the National Association of State Foresters makes 30 members for the Source Water Collaborative.
Since its start in 1920, NASF has served as a leading authority on forest management in the United States. NASF’s membership is composed of the directors of forestry agencies in the 50 states, five U.S. territories, three nations in compacts of free association with the U.S., and the District of Columbia. Through its members, referred to as “state foresters,” the association advocates for federal legislation and national policies that promote the health, resilience, and productivity of both rural and urban forests.
State forestry agencies are the primary delivery system for forest management activities nationwide. They conserve, enhance, and protect state and private forests, which encompass nearly two-thirds of the nation’s forests, and are responsible for wildfire protection on more than 1.5 billion acres.
State foresters are valued for their leadership, expertise, and public-trust commitment to managing and conserving public and private forests across the country. As a member of the Source Water Collaborative (SWC), NASF shares its expertise in forest management and promotes national programs and policies that help protect sources of drinking water through forestry.
“Forests and trees play a critical role in watershed health and are key to ensuring safe and reliable supplies of drinking water across the U.S.,” said Christopher Martin, NASF president and Connecticut state forester. “Right now, more than 80 million acres of America’s forests are at risk of damage from insects and disease. Without remediation, USDA Forest Service scientists expect these threats will kill about 25% of trees larger than one inch in diameter by 2027.”
“The only way to bolster the health of our nation’s forests is to manage them to be more resilient,” Martin continued. “Active forest management requires coordination among state and federal agencies, private forestland owners, private companies, and non-profit organizations. The many benefits of healthy forests—including clean drinking water for over 68,000 communities, millions of jobs, and critical wildlife habitat—are at stake.”
The SWC is comprised of federal, state, and local partners from across the country committed to protecting sources of drinking water (such as lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers). Each member promotes the implementation of source water protection through their own organization’s work in addition to coordinating with the coalition to support source water priorities.
To learn more the Collaborative’s vision, head to SWC’s website: www.sourcewatercollaborative.org.