The Chairman’s Initiative of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, the "National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative," creates a mechanism for states and land managers to share best practices and policy options for forest and rangeland management. The work of the initiative will position Western Governors to recommend congressional efforts to improve forest management and encourage effective collaboration throughout the West. Visit this page to find best practices in forest and rangeland management, success stories and other resources.
Invasive and noxious weeds pose an increasing threat to many of the nation’s public forests and rangelands. Wilderness Invasion is a short documentary that highlights the efforts being made by states, federal agencies, and private landowners to help combat these threats. The video was made with the support of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Nevada Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Forest Service, among others. Watch it here.
Western Forest Fire Compacts
State forest fire compacts reduce wildfire suppression costs for local, state and federal jurisdictions by allowing states to share personnel and equipment and by minimizing the firefighting burden on any single state during periods of high fire occurrence. The Alliance of Forest Fire Compacts is a consortium of 43 states and several Canadian provinces and territories. Forest fire compacts with western states include:
- The Northwest Forest Fire Compact which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories.
- The Great Plains Forest Fire Compact which includes Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and Saskatchewan.
- The South Central Interstate Forest Fire Compact which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Pinchot Institute for Conservation
The Pinchot Institute for Conservation was founded in 1964 with the mission to strengthen forest conservation thought, policy, and action by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities. Through its ongoing partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Institute has conducted nonpartisan research on several forest policy issues related to Gov. Bullock’s Chairman's Initiative. Studies include:
- Stewardship Contracting Case Studies
- Stewardship Contracting - A Collaborative Forest Restoration Model
- Improving the Ecological Health of Our Forests and the Economic Health of Forest-Dependent Communities
- The Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration: A Meta‐Analysis of Existing Research on the CFLR Program
Forest Collaborative Resources
In 2015, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) partnered with The Nature Conservancy to release a five-year report on the USFS’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. The report gives details on 23 different collaborative programs across the US, and offers recommendations for successful collaboratives. Other collaborative guides include:
- The U.S. Forest Service’s Partnership Resource Center
- The National Forest Foundation’s Collaboration Resource Page
- The Nature Conservancy’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Q&A
2014 Farm Bill Authorities
The 2014 Farm Bill created or permanently authorized several tools that help federal forest managers better collaborate with states, local governments and community stakeholder groups. These authorities and their application will be a major focus of Gov. Bullock’s Chairman’s Initiative. At a glance:
- Insect and Disease Designation enables Western Governors to prioritize at-risk federal forests in their state for expedited planning and fuels treatments.
- Stewardship End Result Contracting helps federal agencies to better engage local communities through collaboratively developed contracts.
- Good Neighbor Authority allows state and federal agencies to work across National Forest borders on water restoration and forest management projects.
Four Forest Restoration Initiative
The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), which spans 2.4 million acres across the Mogollon Rim of northern Arizona, is the largest landscape-scale restoration project in the U.S. A collaborative effort with over 30 stakeholder groups and staff from the Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto, and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, 4FRI will treat 30,000 acres annually for the next 20 years. The initiative aims to:
- Reduce the threat of high-intensity, destructive wildfires;
- Restore the structure, pattern, composition, and health of fire-adapted ponderosa pine ecosystems;
- Reduce fuels and the risk of unnaturally severe wildfires; and
- Provide for wildlife and plant diversity.
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
The Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) was established in 2002 as an intergovernmental committee to support the implementation and coordination of Federal Fire Management Policy. To achieve this, the WFLC developed the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy to seek national, all-lands solutions to wildland fire management issues. The first of its kind, the strategy addresses the nation's wildfire problems by focusing on three key areas:
- Restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes;
- Creating fire-adapted communities; and
- Responding to wildfires.
National Interagency Fire Center
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's nerve center for wildland firefighting. Federal and state agencies use a collaborative model to provide support for wildland fires, as well as "all-risk” incidents such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Participating agencies include:
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. National Weather Service
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- U.S. Fire Administration
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Land Management
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Park Service
- National Association of State Foresters
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