Joint Forestry Team renews MOU, commitment to coordinating conservation delivery

The leaders of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), USDA Forest Service, National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have renewed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that created the Joint Forestry Team, a public-private partnership aimed at enhancing the delivery of conservation assistance across the nation through greater coordination.

WASHINGTON—Earlier this month, the National Association of State Foresters, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of Conservation Districts, and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service renewed their shared commitment to coordinating delivery of conservation assistance to America’s forest landowners, farmers, and ranchers.

“The Joint Forestry Team (JFT) is made up of the top four conservation delivery organizations in the United States. When it comes to serving the American landowner, we have centuries of combined experience and the best of the best in conservation professionals,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. “By working together in Washington, D.C., the JFT’s leadership helps to ensure that the millions of landowners our agencies and districts serve have greater access to the technical and financial resources they need to best manage their land, no matter where they live or what service office they contact first.”

“The enormous challenges we face today to improve conditions of America’s forests require an all hands-on deck approach to actively manage forests which provide benefits, including clean drinking water for over 68,000 communities, millions of recreational and job opportunities, as well as critical wildlife habitat,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “JFT allows the Forest Service to coordinate with state forestry agencies, NRCS, and conservation districts to provide critically important conservation assistance to America’s landowners.”

“NACD is proud to contribute to the JFT’s mission of coordinated interagency delivery,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Since its inception more than a decade ago, the JFT has provided solutions for our nation’s forests and forestland owners.”

“Sustainable forestry practices benefit both forestry operations and natural resources,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “Through partnerships, we’re able to better support the nation’s forest landowners through diverse resources and expertise. We are working together to help landowners manage for healthy forests, boost productivity, provide important wildlife habitat, and improve water and air quality.”

To learn more about the JFT and its work to support sustainable landscapes, head to www.jointforestryteam.org.

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at wforman-cook@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417

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About the National Association of State Foresters
The National Association of State Foresters represents the nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters by influencing forest policy and leading efforts to optimize social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees and forests. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.

About the USDA Forest Service
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Learn more at www.fs.fed.us.

About the National Association of Conservation Districts
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations, and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information, visit www.nacdnet.org.

About the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS helps America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and natural resources. For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.