USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) USFS (Forest Service) had announced regarding a new strategy for dealing with catastrophic wildfires as well as impacts of disease, insect, drought and invasive species epidemics. An investment strategy based on outcome indicates that USFS has been planning to work closely with the states for identifying landscape-scale significances for targeted managements in the areas with highest payoffs.
Working closely with the states will benefit in reducing the severity and frequency of wildfires. Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of the Agriculture had mentioned that they have been committed to strengthening stewardship of private and public lands. Both private and federal managers of the forest land have been facing wide-ranging urgent challenges. These include, epidemics of forest disease and insects, degraded watersheds, invasive species and catastrophic wildfires. It was witnessed that the conditions driving these situations has no improvement.
The main concerns fuelling the above-mentioned conditions include firefighters, natural resources, expanding risk to the communities, severity and rising size of the wildfires and longer fire seasons. These challenges are in need of completely new approach. Vicki Christiansen, Interim USFS Chief is of the point of view that Congress has currently provided them with immense opportunities for standing shoulder to shoulder with the state leaders for mitigating and identifying the land management priorities, which are inclusive of mitigating wildfire risks.
New Approaches Taken by USFS to Grab Forest Lovers Attention
Immense efforts will be taken in utilizing all the essential tools for reducing hazardous fuels. This is inclusive of unplanned fire, prescribed fire, mechanical treatments in the right location at right time, which in turn helps them in mitigating the issue. The most important component of the novel strategy has been to prioritize the investment decisions on the forest treatments in the direct co-ordination with the states utilizing the most innovative and advanced science tools. This in turn enables USFS in increasing the scale and scope of the crucial forest treatments, which protects communities as well as creates a resilient forest.
USFS also will be considering the authorities established in 2018 Omnibus Bill, which is inclusive of extensive stewardship contracting in the strategic areas, new road conservation authorities, new categorical eliminations for the land treatments in improving forest conditions. The agency will be continuing to streamline its internal procedures for making environmental study more effective and timber sale agreements more flexible.
The bipartisan strategy will result in stabilizing the operating environment of the agency. The magnificent efforts taken by USFS will enable in catering to the present as well as future needs of the nation’s grasslands and forests.