State, Private & Community Forests

About two-thirds of America’s forests are in non-federal ownership (State and private lands).  The State and Private Forestry Deputy Area of the U.S. Forest Service is the Federal leader in sustaining the health and productivity of the Nation’s 749 million acres of forest lands.  These acres include forests and trees in urban areas, forested State, private, tribal lands, and lands managed by other Federal agencies.  Through cost-effective, non-regulatory programs and partnerships, individual forest landowners, Tribes, communities, and cities are provided tools to pursue diverse forest stewardship objectives.  Outreach programs to educators, government agencies, underserved communities, and private organizations promote environmental literacy, increase public awareness of the multiple benefits of forests, and help build a consistency of future land stewards.

State and Private Programs include:

  • Fire and Aviation Management - protects 193 million acres of National Forest System lands and an additional 20 million acres of State and private lands. We provide premier leadership in wildland fire management, operations, research, and advanced aviation technologies.
  • Tribal Relations - coordinates on policies affecting tribes to help the agency build long-term, collaborative working partnerships with Indian Tribes.
  • Cooperative Forestry - works with States, private landowners, and other partners to promote healthy forests and livable communities throughout the United States.  Our programs and partnerships help private landowners and rural communities care for their forests, strengthen local economies, and maintain a high quality of life.
  • Forest Health Protection - primarily responsible for minimizing the spread of established invasive species and lessening the damages caused by native insects and diseases.          
  • Conservation Education - cooperates with educators, federal, state, local and tribal governments, underserved communities, and others to connect people to the land and enhance environmental literacy, focusing on pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students and their educators.

State Foresters and the Forest Service have been working together to design a suite of programs that engages multiple landowners and organizations across boundaries, and focuses their collective efforts on the health and sustainability of America’s forests.  Our work is aligned with direction provided in the 2008 Farm Bill, which identifies three national priorities – conserve working forests, protect forests from threats, and enhance public benefits from forests.  The fifty-nine members of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) have completed the first-ever comprehensive suite of Statewide Forest Resource Assessments and Strategies as part of a national effort towards protecting and sustaining healthy forests.  State Assessments and Strategies were authorized by the forestry title of the 2008 Farm Bill, which set into motion landmark changes in the way trees and forests on all lands will be managed, conserved, used and enjoyed today and for future generations.  (http://www.stateforesters.org/issues_and_policy/forests_in_the_farm_bill).