In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress tasked the states and territories with assessing all the forests within their boundaries and developing strategies to improve the health, resiliency, and productivity of those forests. Assessing forest resources and engaging in strategic planning for those resources were not new activities for most states and territories. For others, the 2008 Farm Bill presented an opportunity to revise their usual agency planning process.
By 2010, each state and territory completed a Forest Action Plan. Now they are tasked with completing comprehensive revisions of their Forest Action Plans by the close of December 2020. The following resources are for state forestry agencies navigating the 10-year revision process.
10-year REVISION REQUIREMENTS for forest action plans
- May 2017 Memo from State and Private Forestry Leadership
- Revision Requirements Checklist (Updated May 2020)
- April 2020 Memo re: postponement of deadline (now Dec. 31, 2020) for revised Forest Action Plans
- June 2020 Memo from State and Private Forestry Leadership
DEADLINES And Submissions
- Due dates for this 10-year revision, and future five-year reviews, are based on when each individual state last completed a full update or full revision to their Forest Action Plan. The deadline for submitting 10-year Forest Action Plan revisions to the USDA Forest Service for review has been changed from June 2020 to the close of December 2020.
- For states that have not completed a full revision since 2010 (even if some substantive changes were made to portions of the Forest Action Plan), the deadline for revisions is Dec. 31, 2020.
- Every assessment and strategy and national priorities section or report (last submitted in fall 2015) should be submitted by Dec. 31, 2020 to a cloud-based file sharing system called Box. To request access to Box, email the names, email addresses, and phone numbers for each person that requires access to Peter Bedker, the team leader for application development and support at the USDA Forest Service. Please allow a day or two for these requests to be serviced.
- Uploading documents to Box will be the official means of submitting 10-year revisions. If your internet connection or IT system does not allow access to Box, the Forest Service will make alternate arrangements for you, simply contact Peter Bedker.
Developed by the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance’s Forest Resource Planning Committee, this guide lists requirements and provides tips for state planners as they update their state Forest Action Plans.
This document provides state forestry agencies with summaries of national and regional urban and community forestry (UCF) strategic plans and reports that could prove useful as they revise their own Forest Action Plans. It also includes a section on emerging UCF issues that may warrant inclusion in 10-year revisions and a list of reference language by UCF topic.
To foster continual learning and sharing around state Forest Action Plans, the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters’ Forest Resource Planning Committee and USDA Forest Service’s Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry compiled the lessons learned specific to the implementation of these plans with the help of state forest planners across the Northeast and Midwest.
NASF teamed up with the USDA Forest Service’s Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry team and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance to deliver tips and tricks for using social media to promote Forest Action Plan revisions. The presentation covers: (1) the origin and basics of state Forest Action Plans and 10-year revisions due in 2020, (2) strategic messaging explaining the importance, purpose, and effects of Forest Action Plans, and (3) a list of easy, plug-and-play steps to boost engagement and reach on social media platforms.
Using the information state forestry agencies submitted for the 2018 NASF Biennial Survey and NASF Performance Measures, NASF has created a smart online form that allows users to display data points and statistics specific to a given state or region in appealing, social-media-ready configurations. Click here to access our “infographic generator” and above for the guide on using it.
In November 2019, the National Association of Conservation Districts hosted a webinar entitled “Engaging Your State Forestry Agency for Urban and Community Forestry.” The webinar’s three presenters—Whitney Forman-Cook, NASF; Rachel Ormseth, South Dakota Division of Resource Conservation & Forestry; and Cindy Zenk, South Dakota’s Conservation Districts—discussed how conservation districts can engage their state forestry agencies through shared programming and the Forest Action Plan revision process.
In March 2020, the Source Water Collaborative assembled a comprehensive list of resources to help define and strengthen the connection between forests and drinking water in revised Forest Action Plans. These resources include: (1) national and state drinking water contacts, (2) data and communications resources, and (3) examples of how your state forestry agency colleagues have incorporated source water considerations into their State Forest Action Plans. These resources were presented to Source Water Collaborative members and stakeholders in a presentation (linked here and above as a PDF) by NASF Communications Director Whitney Forman-Cook.
In April 2020, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry hosted a webinar on strategies and resources for Forest Action Plan outreach. The presentation (linked here as a PDF) was given by NASF Communications Director Whitney Forman-Cook and recorded (click here to access the recording).
NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LAND MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Though not required, in many states there may be an opportunity to collaborate or coordinate with National Forest System land management planners during their revision process. Potentially helpful documents are below:
- Planning Rule 101
- National Forest System (NFS) Planning: Best Practices Learned from Forest Planning Revision Efforts
- State and Local Government Guide to the 2012 Planning Rule
- NFS Map and Plan Revision Schedule
With general inquiries, please email NASF at firstname.lastname@example.org.