The U.S. federal government has empowered states with the rights to protect their forests through laws, regulations, and programs. This flexibility leads to a vast array of differing laws and oversight agencies found from state to state. However complex, there are at least seven uniform programs and policies found across all states and territories that provide a broad view of state forest sustainability.
This information for each state, relevant to timber assurance, can be accessed by clicking on the map below. This will open hyperlinks to the seven programs, policies, and reports described at the bottom of this page.
In 2010, the nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters delivered statewide assessments and strategies to help advance the protection and health of all forests. Known as Forest Action Plans, these documents collectively represent a strategic roadmap for America’s forests, state-by-state. The Forest Action Plans review state forest resources and offer practical, long-term plans for investing state, federal, and other resources where they can be most effective in achieving national conservation goals. When it comes to market access, this “state laws and regulations” section of TimberAssurance.Org may help states achieve goals outlined in Forest Action Plans.
The Wildlife Action Plans identify species of greatest conservation need and their affiliated habitats. Each state Wildlife Action Plan also identifies priority research and conservation actions needed to address problems facing these species and habitats.
State forestry agency best management practices (BMPs) are effective, affordable, and practical measures implemented to protect water quality when undertaking silvicultural activities. Forestry BMPs have been evaluated, tested, revised, and adapted over time by each state. These BMP programs are highly diverse to reflect the wide range of forested landscapes and unique state characteristics found throughout the country.
Each state’s BMPs monitoring report reflects a survey completed to help assess progress of individual states efforts in implementing BMPs during forestry activities and measures their effectiveness after implemented.
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program is the nation’s only comprehensive system for assessing the health and sustainability of the nation’s forests across all ownerships. The FIA program collects data on everything from forest species composition, to forest growth rates, to forest health. The FIA program serves as the basis for monitoring trends in wildlife habitat, wildfire risk, and insects and disease threats; predicting the spread of invasive species; addressing forest composition, structure, and inventory; and measuring growth versus removal.
Natural Heritage Programs help protect and conserve the natural heritage of states. Through a comprehensive inventory of rare plant and animal species and representative ecological communities – including the distribution, biology, status, and preservation needs of these species and communities – states identify their most significant natural areas and how best to conserve and manage them.
The Forest Stewardship Program equips landowners with the information they need to sustainably manage their forests to the benefit of current and future generations. Through technical assistance services provided to private forest landowners by state forestry agencies, the program supports sustainable forest management, which in turn provides forest products, wildlife habitat, clean water and air, jobs, and opportunities for recreation.
To learn more about forest resources and forest management in a specific state, click the last link featured in the dropdown menu that appears when you click on your chosen state above. This link will take you to the state forestry agency’s website, where you’ll find state agency contact information and more information about its programs.
Forest Action Plans:
GUIDELINES FOR FORESTS
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.