NMSFA and USDA FS Strengthen Partnership through Shared Stewardship
USDA Forest Service and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance Strengthen Partnership through Shared Stewardship
On Wednesday, July 15, the USDA Forest Service and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance (NMSFA) signed a Shared Stewardship Agreement, amplifying our commitment to using an all-lands approach to forest management in the Eastern Region. This agreement marks the second Shared Stewardship Agreement signed in the Eastern Region and the first in the country to be signed virtually. The signatories on the agreement were Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Forrest Boe, NMSFA president and Minnesota state forester, who represented the state foresters of 20 states and the District of Columbia. The ceremony took place virtually during the NMSFA summer meeting.
“Our partnership with the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance has been strengthened through this agreement,” said Forest Service Acting Eastern Regional Forester Robert Lueckel. “The mosaic of forest ownership in the Eastern Region makes it critical that we work together to set priorities and strive to make management decisions on a landscape scale for the good of the forests and the public we all serve.”
This agreement builds on previous partnership documents signed by the Eastern Region and NMSFA in 2009 and 2014. The new agreement was written on the foundation of Shared Stewardship, a national initiative joining the Forest Service with the states and other forest management partners. Shared Stewardship encourages collaboration with an emphasis on doing the right work at the right scale to improve forest health, reduce wildfire risk and support local communities.
“Shared Stewardship is about working with our state partners across our shared landscapes on our mutual priorities through partnerships and collaboration,” said Christiansen. “This historic shared stewardship agreement between the Forest Service and the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance, which includes 20 states and the District of Columbia, will enhance our collective ability to improve forest conditions across these landscapes using every tool and authority we have.”
NMSFA members include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
The agreement can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/ne_mw_fully_signed_shared_stewardship_agreement.pdf
To watch a video of the virtual signing ceremony: https://vimeo.com/438949604