USFS State and Private Forestry • S&PF provides technical and financial assistance to help sustain private forests and to protect communities and the environment from wildland fires • S&PF works in partnership with State Foresters and other partners to facilitate sound stewardship and the conservation of forests on a landscape scale while maintaining the flexibility for individual landowners to pursue their objectives.
Cooperative Forestry As a part of S&PF…. • Cooperative Forestry provides technical and financial assistance to help private landowners to better manage, protect and utilize their forests and to sustain forests and forestry in rural and urban areas Cooperative Programs include: • Forest Stewardship • Forest Land Enhancement • Forest Legacy • Economic Action Programs • Forest Taxation • Forest Resource Inventory and Analysis • Urban and Community Forestry
Forest Legacy Program Goal: To mitigate forest fragmentation and loss of forested landscapes Purpose: To effectively protect and manage environmentally important forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses Means: Conservation easements and fee simple acquisition FLP uses a non-regulatory, incentive-based approach and only operates on a willing seller-willing buyer basis
Forest Legacy Program • Began as a “solution” to the threat of large-scale conversion of working forests in the Northern Forest Lands of New England (NY, VT, NH, ME) • Initially Authorized in the 1990 Farm Bill (Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990; Public Law 101-624) • Amended in 1996 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make grants to States
FLP Funding • $7.8 Million of unspent funds rescinded in FY 1995-all of the FY 1995 funds plus some prior year funds • $6.958 million of prior year funds were used • $7.199 million of prior year funds were used • FY 2006 - President’s budget proposal - $80,000,000.
Accomplishments Since inception in 1992 to Date: • 42 States have joined the program • 256 tracts have been acquired in 29 States • 1,019,937 acres have been protected • FLP investment - $204 million • Total value of conservation land - $416 million
How Do We Work?PARTNERSHIPS!!! • USDA Forest Service • Administer program • Provide policy, planning and budget oversight • Provide funding and technical assistance • States • They implement FLP • They bear the responsibility long-term of management, monitoring and enforcement • National and Local Land Trusts • You facilitate deals, provide funding and technical assistance to the States • They generate the local support and are the first contact for many landowner interested in FLP
Forest Service FLPProject Selection Process • Step 1 – Release Project Selection Calendar • Outlines project selection process and due dates • Step 2 – State Project Selection and Prioritization • State receive projects and evaluate them with their State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee • Step 3 – National FLP Project List • National Review Panel • Score and rank based on three national criteria (Important, Threatened, Strategic) and Readiness • Ensure that projects meet congressional direction and national program goals • Step 4 – FLP Project List in President’s Budget • Step 5 – Congressional Appropriations Committees
Land and Water Conservation Funds (LWCF) 1964 • Supports the protection of public open space • Provides funds for federal acquisition of lands for conservation and recreation • Key resources - Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Fisheries, Endangered species • Lands are acquired through purchase or donation and full fee and conservation easements are used. • Eligible projects are identified through the Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management • In 1964, Congress authorized up to $900 million each year….to date it has never reached that level
Building A Strong Partnership • COMMUNICATION • Get to know the State Lead Agency manager • Work closely when developing FLP projects • COMMUNICATION • Become engaged and active with the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee • COMMUNICATION • No surprises! • Working with the delegation – inform and involve the state • Changes in the transaction – call the State right away