New Dovetail Partners Report Reviews Forest Action Plans Upon Five-Year Anniversary

 

Forest Action Plans’ ability to address water quality protections within U.S. forestlands evaluated

 

(Minneapolis, MN) – A new report published by Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental think tank, reviews federally mandated Forest Action Plans upon their five year anniversary. The report, titled 5-Year Review of Forest Action Plans and Effective Water Quality Protections, provides a brief background on Forest Action Plans, the process that was used to develop them and evaluates the effectiveness of the plans in addressing water quality protections within U.S. forestlands.

 

The 2008 Farm Bill included the requirement that forestry agencies in each state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia develop assessments of the forests within their boundaries and strategies for addressing threats to these forests. The resulting Forest Action Plans collectively provide a comprehensive strategic plan for the nation’s forests and a roadmap to care for them.

 

This report provides an overview of the Forest Action Plans and reviews specific plans in three states and one island territory to evaluate accomplishments related to protecting water quality in the five years since they were completed. Case studies in Maryland, Georgia, Utah and the Northern Mariana Islands illustrate regionally specific water quality protections within each respective location’s individual Forest Action Plans and the activities and accomplishments of the first five years of implementation.

 

The report findings conclude that Forest Action Plans provide a valuable tool for thoughtfully and thoroughly addressing threats and opportunities across diverse forests. The plans provide a nationwide overview to support high-level decision making while also supporting local actions through state-specific priorities. To support the full benefits of the plans it is vital that identified data gaps be addressed, including the critical need for complete and up-to-date resource inventory information. There is also value in periodic plan review and updating as needed on an approximately five-year cycle in order to measure progress and apply new information.

 

This report was prepared with support from the National Association of State Foresters and through a grant provided by the USDA Forest Service. Special thanks to the Georgia Forestry Commission, Maryland DNR Forest Service, Utah Department of Natural Resources, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ CNMI Department of Lands & Natural Resources.

 

The Forest Action Plans are available in their entirety, along with supporting information, via the website: www.forestactionplans.org

 

Dovetail’s Forest Action Plans report can be downloaded in full at the following link: 

www.dovetailinc.org/report_pdfs/2015/dovetailforestactionplans1115.pdf