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In January 2022, the USDA Forest Service released Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests. The Forest Service is working to develop a “living” 10-year Implementation Plan for working with partners across jurisdictions to change the trajectory of wildfire risk. The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an essential down payment on the resources needed to perform this work.
Everyone has a leadership stake in moving from small-scale, independently managed treatments to strategic, science-based, landscape-scale treatments that cross boundaries at the scale of the problem, starting initially with those places most critically at risk. Ongoing communication about the 10-year strategy and implementation plan among the Forest Service, States, Tribal entities, and non-governmental partners is welcomed and encouraged.
The Wildfire Risk Reduction Partner Recommendation Analysis provides an overview of past recommendations that have been collected and synthesized by the Forest Service.
To assist in developing the implementation plan, the National Forest Foundation is working with the Forest Service to convene virtual roundtable events in the nine Forest Service regions, as well as nationally, to engage employees and partners. The Forest Service and the Intertribal Timber Council are also working to plan a Tribal roundtable. The roundtables will commence in February 2022 and conclude June 2022.
The goals of the roundtables are to:
Discussions at each of the roundtables will be distilled into reports that will inform the implementation plan moving forward.
The roundtables are just one effort to strengthen shared approaches to how the Forest Service, Tribal, and state governments, federal agencies, and partners work together.
The National Forest Foundation has developed an Engagement Toolkit to complement the Wildfire Crisis Strategy Roundtables being held nationally and in each Region. The toolkit is available to help Forest Service units and other interested parties (e.g., Tribal Nations, State Foresters, local governments) who want to gather input for the Implementation Plan through additional engagements with their publics and employees.
Roundtable participation by invitation to ensure a format that encourages meaningful dialogue. Participation will be capped at approximately 60 USDA Forest Service and 60 partner attendees for each national and regional roundtable. While we are limiting participation in each of the roundtables to achieve a manageable size and scope for dialogue and exchange, it is anticipated that participants will represent a range of critical voices and perspectives. Invitation lists include a mix of partners and employees whose programs and experience directly relate to or are affected by increased wildfire risk and fuels reduction efforts.
Target audiences are:
The roundtables will commence in February 2022 and conclude June 2022.