Shaping forestland use for present and future generations
The North Dakota Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources and Forest Resource Strategy provides a comprehensive analysis of the forest-related trends, conditions, threats, and opportunities within the state. North Dakota’s Forest Action Plan serves as a long-term, comprehensive, coordinated strategy involving local, state, federal, and tribal partners with the goal of shaping forest land use in a manner that optimizes public benefits from trees and forests for present and future generations.
Promote natural regeneration of over-mature forest resources and sustain historic vegetation types
Over-maturity and limited natural regeneration threatens the future sustainability of North Dakota‘s forests. Natural regeneration is hindered by the lack of processes that promote regeneration (flooding, prescribed fire, harvesting) or processes that limit regeneration (herbivory). This issue is most prominent in the state’s aspen forests, overly dense ponderosa pine stands in southwestern North Dakota, and riparian forests dominated by cottonwood and ash.
Mitigate invasive pests, pathogens, weeds, and wildfire while enhancing species diversity
Our greatest priorities are to mitigate invasive tree pests (exotic or non-native tree insects and pathogens) and invasive weeds. The expansion of invasive species, such as the emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease, and spotted knapweed threaten the ecological services provided by the state’s natural resources. By investing in woody plant improvement research and enhancing diversity of plantings, we work to limit the impact of these invasive threats and increase the success and sustainability of the state’s rural tree plantings and community forests. In addition, wildfire is a common and widespread occurrence in North Dakota. The majority of the state’s fuels are highly combustible, light fuels that burn readily and rapidly given the right environmental conditions. Preventing and responding to protect lives and property from such occurrences remains as a high priority.
Expand educational outreach activities and promote wood utilization opportunities
The public’s perception of the role trees and forests play in society is changing constantly, and children are developing a disconnect from nature as they spend more time indoors engaging in technology. Educating decision makers about the importance of trees, the ecological and social services they provide, and the benefits to communities remains an important issue to ensure policies incorporate the best available science. Creating a scientifically informed citizenry is critical to the long-term sustainability of forest resources.
Best Management Practices
North Dakota’s best management practices (BMPs) program is non-regulatory. The agency responsible for BMPs policy development is the North Dakota Forest Service.
Click here to view the most recent BMPs recommendations on the state forestry agency website.