WASHINGTON, DC – The Forest Products Modernization team has made a great stride forward in addressing the role forest products delivery plays in mitigating the challenges facing forest health, resilience and productivity. The team reviewed, synthesized and prioritized more than 300 recommendations it received from six solution teams across the Forest Service. Solution teams were made up of district, forest and regional employees convened to address the highest priorities for change in forest product delivery. The team also considered ideas and recommendations from other agency employees and partners submitted via past engagement sessions, email and SharePoint forums.
Allen Rowley, Director of Forest Management, Range Management and Vegetation Ecology, reviewed workshop results and identified several high-leverage recommendations, including the following actions for immediate implementation:
- Expand training opportunities for forest product delivery programs including additional classes and task book implementation with host-forest options
- Integrate new technologies and procedures into how forest products are accounted for
- Develop a simple timber sale appraisal process for all contracts, with an emphasis on how low-valued products are handled. The process must significantly reduce the time needed to appraise a timber sale of any kind
- Develop a streamlined version of a timber sale contract that includes efficiencies needed to administer a sale that includes products of varying values
- Revitalize the forest product removal permit (FS 2400-1) for minimal volume sales and any needed policy/direction changes to support it
- Implement 20-year stewardship contract pilot projects on one or two forests
- Develop a policy on appraisal, removal, and management of low-valued products in timber sales
These actions are now underway, influenced by the input received from the FPM guiding team and regional directors during a July 9-10, 2018 workshop. The team is planning other employee feedback opportunities and external partner feedback sessions soon to gather additional feedback on all recommendations.
Keep up with the forest products modernization team’s progress -via the Forest Products Modernization SharePoint site.