New agreement between federal, state agencies highlights cooperative approach to land management
Release Date: Sep 26, 2019
Contact(s): Cathy Dowd, 828-412-1521
Asheville, NC - September 26, 2019 - The United States Department of Agriculture's Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment signed a Shared Stewardship agreement between USDA's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the North Carolina Forest Service, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in a ceremony here yesterday.
USDA Under Secretary Jim Hubbard signed the agreement with Steve Troxler, Commissioner of NCDA&CS; Scott Bissette, Assistant Commissioner of NCFS; and Gordan Myers, Executive Director of NCWRC.
"Shared Stewardship offers a great opportunity to coordinate and prioritize land management activities in tandem," said Hubbard. "The USDA and its agencies have a long and strong history of collaboration with the State of North Carolina. This agreement will make that working relationship even stronger."
The Shared Stewardship Agreement establishes a framework for federal and state agencies to collaborate better, focus on accomplishing mutual goals, further common interests, and effectively respond to the increasing ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in North Carolina.
"Partnerships remain essential to everything we do as an agency and allows for greater success in reaching our conservation goals and in protecting our natural resources," Troxler said. "The Shared Stewardship agreement strengthens our commitment to partnership in these areas of mutual benefit."
In addition to providing a framework for how the federal and state agencies will work together, the Shared Stewardship agreement also outlines the importance of ensuring meaningful participation from state and local partners such as North Carolina's State Parks, Natural Heritage Program, Department of Transportation, Conservation Districts, and non-governmental conservation organizations.
"We are excited to continue our cooperative approach to management and access on national forests, including linear wildlife openings, food plots and road maintenance upgrades for North Carolina's hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts," said Myers.
The agreement can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/sharedstewardship.
Representatives from NCWRC, USDA, NCDA&CS, and NCFS signed an agreement to work more collaboratively (from left to right, Erik Christofferson, Deputy Director of Operations North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Jim Hubbard, USDA Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary; Steve Troxler, North Carolina Agricultural Commissioner; Scott Bissette, Assistant Commissioner, North Carolina Forest Service and Vicki Christiansen, USDA Forest Service Chief)