When properly and actively managed, forests provide a wealth of benefits, including clean drinking water for over 68,000 American communities, millions of recreational and job opportunities, and critical wildlife habitat.
Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) allows the USDA Forest Service to enter into agreements of up to ten years with state forestry agencies to implement this critically important management work on national forests when the Forest Service is unable to do the work alone.
It is simply good government for forest management to be undertaken in the most timely and cost-efficient manner. Good Neighbor Authority helps us do that.
Since GNA was first authorized by Congress with the 2014 Farm Bill, 34 states have broken ground on more than 490 GNA projects. Through these GNA projects, states are contributing to the restoration of federal forests on a scale never before realized.
As a result of GNA’s success, Congress expanded Good Neighbor authorities to allow necessary road reconstruction and repairs (with the FY 2018 appropriations omnibus) and to empower tribes and counties to enter into GNA agreements (with the 2018 Farm Bill). Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) allocates funding through FY 2026 for federal, state, and tribal authorities that enter GNA agreements for ecosystem restoration projects under the Tribal Forest Protection Act.
Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and the Forest Service are working together to plan and implement projects to address insect and disease outbreaks, reduce hazardous fuels, improve habitat, and repair Forest Service roads. To date, 20 timber sales have been awarded under GNA in Idaho that will treat over 6,500 acres and generate 71.6 million board feet of timber. Over 60 restoration service contracts at a total value of $3.5 have been awarded to the private sector to provide added capacity for restoration planning and implementation.
Since 2016, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) have worked across all 11 National Forests in Oregon under 30 Supplemental Project Agreements. The results of this work include the:
52,000 acres of restoration project planning and project preparation
11,000 acres of non-commercial fuels reduction and thinning, prescribed fire preparation, noxious weed treatments, wildlife habitat improvement, and stream enhancement
14,000 acres of commercial restoration, producing 50 million board feet of timber volume
In Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forest, Good Neighbor Authority was leveraged to thin red pines growing close together using a select-cut, letting more light into the forest to encourage fresh growth. Snags, brush, and standing dead timber were left to create a habitat for the pine marten, a shy member of the weasel family that forest management has helped recover after nearly disappearing from Michigan in the 1930s.
Since 2007, the Colorado State Forest Service in coordination with key local partners, such as the USFS South Platte Ranger District and the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District, have completed several wildfire mitigation projects in this area. The Deer Creek Project is strategically positioned to build on those past projects, completing forest management work and wildfire mitigation work on the adjacent lands in 2023. This collaborative project between the CSFS and the USFS is through the Good Neighbor Authority, and it’s the first of its kind in the Pike National Forest. The local community has demonstrated strong support for this project by identifying it for treatment in its Community Wildfire Protection Plan. An additional 340 acres are scheduled for forest management and wildfire mitigation work on state and private lands beginning in 2024.
Your state’s Forest Action Plan includes in-depth analysis of forest conditions and trends in your area. Collectively, the states’ Forest Action Plans make up a roadmap for forest management on a national scale.