Insects & Diseases

2014 Farm Bill: Insect & Disease Infestation

Identifying Opportunities to Use Farm Bill Insect & Disease Authorities

The Insect & Disease authorities in the 2014 Farm Bill provide opportunities for federal land managers to:

  • focus restoration efforts in priority landscapes;
  • increase partnership opportunities with states and other partners,
  • strengthen the role of collaboration and citizen engagement; and
  • more effectively and efficiently develop, analyze and implement projects that reduce the risk or extent of, or increase resilience to, insect and disease infestations.

The Northern (Region 1) and Intermountain (Region 4) Regions of the Forest Service are moving quickly and diligently to implement the Insect & DiseaseDave Cobb, a silviculturist on the IPNF, discusses Forest Health with a group of the public authorities. The nation's forests are experiencing larger and more frequent insect and disease outbreaks, as well as increased length and severity of fire seasons as a result of climate change. By focusing on stemming insect and disease outbreaks and creating forests that are more resilient to future changes in climate, we can better protect the many benefits our nation's forests provide, such as drinking water and recreation opportunities for citizens, wildlife habitat for hundreds of species, forest products, carbon sequestration and many others.

Implementation of the Farm Bill authorities through key partnerships and collaborative efforts will expedite work to improve our National Forests' health and resilience. The Forest Service is collaboratively working with State counterparts and other interested parties to increase restoration goals within designated priority landscapes. (Click here for more information about Montana Governor Bullock's Forests in Focus initiative.)

Projects across Idaho and Montana are being thoroughly screened to determine if they fit the requirements and limitations of the Insect & Disease authorities. Initial projects that are using or have potential to use the Insect & Disease authorities have been identified through fiscal year 2017 or 2018, depending on the Forest. As some of these projects are further developed, it may be determined that the Insect & Disease authorities are not the most appropriate tool for project development and implementation. It is also likely additional projects will be identified that have potential to use these authorities as Forests further develop their programs of work. Projects not using the Farm Bill authorities are also being planned or implemented in the priority landscapes; however, they are not using the Farm Bill authorities because they were too far into development when the authorities became available or propose activities that exceed the authorities.

Priority Landscape Projects for Idaho and MontanaA photograph showing white pine blister rust sign

Maps and lists depicting Insect & Disease (I&D) project information have been developed for the states of Idaho and Montana. These products will be updated on a quarterly basis. Be aware that changing circumstances, such as changes in conditions on the ground from fire or other natural disturbances, require flexibility in managing project priorities. Some decision dates could be postponed when other decision dates are accelerated or additional projects added to the program of work to respond to changing circumstances. The anticipated decision date does not imply implementation can or will occur in the same fiscal year.

Only projects with decisions anticipated in fiscal year 2015 or later are depicted. Projects occurring in the priority landscapes with decisions signed prior to fiscal year 2015 are not depicted.

The projects currently depicted may change once districts and forests have a better understanding of changed conditions and priorities due to recent fire activity.

Montana Insect & Disease Projects: MT Map | MT List | Printable MT Map PDF

Idaho Insect & Disease Projects: ID Map | ID List | Printable ID Map PDF

2014 Farm Bill Amendments

Title VIII, Section 8204 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (also referred to as 2014 Farm Bill) amended Title VI of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6591 et seq.) by adding section 602 (Designation of Treatment Areas) and section 603 (Administrative Review) to address qualifying Insect & Disease infestations on National Forest System lands.  Read more about the designation of treatment areas and administrative review here.

Lodgepole pine stand killed by mountain pine beetle