Four national forests are actively engaged in a collaborative, landscape-scale initiative designed to restore fire-adapted ecosystems in the Southwestern Region. Those forests are the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto. In ongoing collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders, the four forests are working to plan and carry out landscape-scale restoration of the ponderosa pine forests in northern Arizona.
The overall goals of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is to restore the structure, pattern, composition, and health of fire-adapted ponderosa pine ecosystems; reduce fuels and the risk of unnaturally severe wildfires; and provide for wildlife and plant diversity. Doing so will involve a variety of restoration projects and rely on Forest Service personnel, partners and volunteers, and contractors to see these goals through.
In addition to creating sustainable ecosystems, one of the key objectives is creating and developing sustainable industries. Appropriately-scaled businesses will likely play a key role in the effort by harvesting, processing, and selling wood products. The restoration-based work opportunities are expected to create a variety of jobs across northern Arizona..
The Salt River Project hosted the 3rd annual Healthy Forests, Vibrant Economy Conference in October 2015. This two-day event featured a convergence of business leaders, government partners, scientists, researchers and those with an interest in forest health. The video from the conference is available for viewing.
The 4 Forest Restoration Initiative is commonly associated the Task Orders of the Phase 1 Stewardship Contract (held by Good Earth Power AZ), but 4FRI isn't just a stewardship contract. In fact, it isn't even just about thinning.
In addition to the Phase 1 Contract Task Orders, multiple other restoration projects continue to be implemented across the four forests...