Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Towards Shared Stewardship - New Agreements between States and Federal Agencies to Manage Public Lands

Top left: US Forest Service Regional Forester Glen Casamassa, Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, USDA Undersecretary Jim Hubbard and Oregon stakeholders at the official signing. Top Right: Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands and US Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen speak about the benefits of shared stewardship at the signing in Washington State. Utah Governor Gary Herbert and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue sign the Utah shared stewardship agreement. Photos: Kate Lighthall, Washington DNR, Utah DNR-FFSL. 
Oregon is the latest state to enter into a Shared Stewardship agreement with the US Forest Service to collectively set priorities and increase the scope and scale of critical forest treatments that support communities and improve forest conditions. In addition to the Oregon agreement signed this week, in recent months Idaho, Montana, Washington and Utah have signed on to these historical agreements that allow for mutual prioritization and implementation of landscape-scale projects for forest and watershed health, timber values and catastrophic wildfire prevention without the conflict of boundary lines. The agreements also allow for the use of new tools and technology such as the Scenario Investment Planning tool that helps land managers assess where investments will have the best outcomes based on specific priorities and achievement rates.

The Shared Stewardship approach will be an essential element to achieve common benefits, such as protecting life and property and creating jobs in the wildland urban interface (WUI) as well as in the rural western environment. "The goal," says USDA Undersecretary Jim Hubbard, "is success based on outcomes, not just outputs."  

The agreements are deeply rooted in the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and its core recommendation that co-management of risk and the collective prioritization of risk, all grounded by sound science, are the necessary steps to changing the perilous wildfire trajectory that our landscapes, communities and firefighters face.  

Shared Stewardship also builds on a foundation of collaborative work, such as the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership, and the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.  It also builds on authorities created or expanded in the 2018 Omnibus Bill and the 2018 Farm Bill, such as Good Neighbor Authority.

For more information on Shared Stewardship click here

Specific agreements:

Idaho's Agreement for Shared Stewardship

Montana's Shared Stewardship - Leaders' Intent

Washington's MOU for Shared Stewardship

Utah's Agreement for Shared Stewardship

Will post Oregon's agreement as soon as it's available.




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