State, Private & Community Forests
The Forest Service's State and Private Forestry program reaches across the boundaries of National Forests to States, Tribes, communities, and non-industrial private landowners. We provide technical and financial assistance to landowners and resource managers to help sustain the Nation’s forests and protect communities and the environment from wildland fires.
State and Private Forestry programs bring forest management assistance and expertise to a diversity of forest landowners (including small woodlot, tribal, state, and federal) through cost-effective, non-regulatory partnerships. We collaborate with state and local partners to increase awareness about how well-managed trees provide many benefits and improve the livability of our cities, towns, and rural communities.
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) of the Forest Service offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products.
Ecosystem services are the benefits that nature provides to people including forest products, clean air and water, climate regulation, recreation opportunities, and cultural connections with the land, among many others. The Forest Service works with state and private partners to identify and quantify these benefits in social and economic terms. The agency also helps develop payment incentive programs and conservation finance tools to sustain forest ecosystem services over time. These efforts include partnerships with water utilities, municipalities and other stakeholders who rely on the critical benefits forests provide.
The Forest Health Protection program has shared responsibility for monitoring and protecting the health of forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. We provide technical and financial assistance to federal resource managers in Oregon and Washington regarding insects, diseases, and unwanted vegetation in forest ecosystems. Similar assistance is provided through state forestry staffs to state and private resource managers.
The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) supports State efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands. Designed to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands, FLP is an entirely voluntary program. It encourages and supports acquisition of conservation easements, legally binding agreements transferring a negotiated set of property rights from one party to another, without removing the property from private ownership. Most FLP conservation easements restrict development, require sustainable forestry practices, and protect other values.
Non-industrial private landowners are encouraged to find better ways to manage and use natural resources on their forest lands and apply sound forestry practices. Assistance addresses the protection of soil and water resources, improving wildlife habitat, increasing outdoor recreation opportunities, as well as providing wood products, pre-harvest planning, and adequate regeneration of timber. Technical and financial assistance is provided to State Foresters for program delivery.
Over 80% of people in the US live in cities, towns, or rural communities – and most of those people experience nature primarily in our urban & community forests. These trees, parks, and green belts provide many benefits: improved human health & well-being, reduced stormwater runoff, and reduced air & water pollution. With financial assistance from the Forest Service, state forestry agencies provide technical urban forestry advice & training (community forestry planning, tree inventories & assessments, municipal code development, tree pruning & maintenance, etc.) and coordinate the Tree Cities USA programs. An advisory council representing a broad range of professional experience and geographic locations provides guidance to each state UCF program.
The Western Nursery Specialist (Diane Haase, 503-808-2349, firstname.lastname@example.org) provides technical support to forest and conservation nurseries in the 17 western states and the American-affiliated Pacific Islands as a part of the national Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetics Resources (RNGR) team. RNGR supports state, federal, tribal, industrial, and private nurseries throughout the country by providing key information to aid in the production of adequate supplies of reasonably priced, high quality, genetically adapted seedlings for reforestation, conservation, and restoration. Services include technical assistance to nurseries, research projects to address seedling and field issues, publications, and annual conferences and workshops. Visit https://www.rngr.net for more information.
Woody biomass – parts of trees and woody plants that are the byproducts of forest management – may result from hazardous fuels reduction, insect and disease treatments, ecosystem restoration projects, and many other activities. Using woody biomass as a bio-energy source promotes energy efficiency, creates family-wage jobs in rural areas, saves money when used for heating, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, and provides a source of renewable, sustainable energy. The Forest Service’s woody biomass and bioenergy program is accomplished through many collaborative partnerships.