WASHINGTON—A new roadmap for interagency wildland fire management across the country has been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). Representatives from the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) played a key role in the crafting of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy).
“State Foresters protect two-thirds of the nation’s forests, with jurisdiction over and response to 75 percent of all wildfires,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester and Chair of the NASF Forest Fire Protection Committee. “The Cohesive Strategy will help improve efficiencies in the way state forestry agencies work with federal, state and local partners to maintain resilient landscapes, create fire-adapted communities, and respond to wildfires.”
State Foresters also contributed to the release of The Federal Land Assistance, Management And Enhancement (FLAME) Act Of 2009 – Report to Congress. Together, these documents address elements requested by Congress after the passage of the FLAME Act and represent the next stage in an evolving world of wildland fire management with the goal of achieving safer, more efficient, cost-effective public and resource protection goals and more resilient landscapes.
The documents’ creation and implementation is considered phase one of an effort overseen by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), an intergovernmental body of federal, state, tribal and municipal stakeholders. Regional strategies will be developed in the next phase, and a national trade-off analysis will be conducted in the final phase.
States are also armed with statewide Forest Action Plans and regional fire risk assessments that will play a major role in the success of the Cohesive Strategy to protect forest values, address wildfire threats and ensure public safety nationwide. To view the national documents, visit www.forestsandrangelands.gov.