NASF releases biennial survey results on state forestry agencies

Survey finds state forestry agencies play key roles in protecting and enhancing America’s forested landscapes. 

WASHINGTON — According to the National Association of State Foresters’ newly released biennial survey, family forestland owners receive more forest management technical assistance from state forestry agencies than from any other source. In fact, state forestry agencies provided technical assistance to nearly 270,000 landowners and 8,502 communities in 2018, the report found.

“State foresters and the agencies they lead are integral to active forest management in the United States,” said Greg Josten, NASF president and South Dakota state forester. “Over 90 percent of wood harvested in the U.S. is grown on private lands, and according to the most recent data, state forestry agencies are the primary providers of technical assistance to America’s forestland owners. This science-based assistance – which includes one-on-one, site-specific, long-term planning support – focuses on each landowner’s specific management priorities, while protecting water quality, providing wildlife habitat, and improving overall forest health.”

Every two years, Industry Insights helps NASF survey its 59 state forester members to capture key information on how their agencies are enhancing the value of non-federal forest lands nationwide through programs specific to forest health, stewardship, wildfire preparedness and prevention, and more.

According to this research, over 27,000 state forestry agency employees work year-round to keep our nation’s forests growing. In 2018, these employees also:

  • Trained nearly 62,000 firefighters to protect 1.59 billion acres of land from wildfires.
  • And assisted 22,000 rural fire departments in responding to wildfires.

“Over 58,000 wildfires burned over 8.7 million acres of land in 2018 alone – the necessity for active forest management, wildfire response, and training is paramount,” said Jay Farrell, NASF’s executive director. “State forestry agencies provide much of the manpower, localized expertise, and in many cases, the training, to ensure critical wildfire suppression activities and mitigating forest management work gets done every day, no matter the season.”

Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook, NASF Communications Director at (202) 624-5417 and wforman-cook@stateforesters.org