Forest Service Seeks Applicants For Forest Restoration Program Panel

Contact(s): Walter Dunn

The Southwestern Region of the Forest Service is seeking applicants for the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program Technical Advisory Panel.  This 12 to15 member panel will evaluate proposals for federal grant funding to conduct forest restoration treatments on public land and utilize small diameter trees.  Panel applications are due to the Forest Service by July 18, 2018.    

“I am looking for panel members who are as committed as I am to working collaboratively with other interests for the health of public forest land in New Mexico,” stated Cal Joyner, Southwestern Regional Forester. 

The panel will include: a New Mexico natural resources official; at least two representatives from federal land management agencies; at least one tribal and/or pueblo representative; at least two independent scientists experienced in forest ecosystem restoration; and equal representation from conservation, local communities, and commodity interests.

The Technical Advisory Panel will review project proposals for: wildfire threat reduction; ecosystem restoration, including non-native tree species reduction; reestablishment of historic fire regimes; reforestation; small diameter tree use; and the creation of forest-related local employment.  The grant proposals must include a broad and diverse group of stakeholders and may occur on federal, tribal, state, county, or municipal forest land.

“Prospective members of this important panel should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of their personal time and energy during the two-year appointment,” Joyner added.

Meetings will be held one to two times per year in Albuquerque.   Selected panel members will not receive compensation, however, they may be reimbursed for travel and per diem costs.  Panel selection procedures and meetings will be conducted under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Walter Dunn is the Designated Federal Officer and will serve as the point of contact for information on the nomination process as well as for the Technical Advisory Panel.  His phone number is 505-842-3425.

Application materials and other information on the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program can be found on the program website.

Completed application packets should be sent to the following address by July 18, 2018:

Walter Dunn
Cooperative and International Forestry
USDA Forest Service
333 Broadway SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Fax (505) 842-3165

Background Information on Collaborative Forest Restoration Program:

Title VI of Public Law 106-393 creates a mechanism for local community collaboration with federal land managers by establishing a cooperative forest restoration program in New Mexico.   The law provides cost-share grants to stakeholders for experimental forest restoration projects to be designed through a collaborative process (the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program).

Projects can occur on federal, tribal, state, county, or municipal land and must address specified objectives.  These objectives include wildfire threat reduction; ecosystem restoration, including non-native tree species reduction; reestablishment of historic fire regimes; reforestation, including preservation of old trees; small diameter tree use enhancement; creation of forest-related local employment; and stakeholder diversity.

The law also provides that a review panel be formed to evaluate proposals for funding.  The Secretary of Agriculture chartered this panel under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Panel nominees will be evaluated based on their familiarity with forest management issues in New Mexico, including:

  • experience working with the government planning processes,
  • knowledge and understanding of the various cultures and communities in New Mexico,
  • ability to actively participate in diverse team settings;
  • demonstrated skill in working toward mutually beneficial solutions to complex issues,
  • respect and credibility in local communities; commitment to attending Panel meetings, and
  • their contribution to the balance and diversity of the Panel.

Equal opportunity practices, in line with USDA policies, shall be followed in all membership appointments to the Panel.  To ensure that the recommendation of the Panel have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Department, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.