7.4.4 Federal and State Forest Management Programs

LPDD Recommendation: “Congress could change the way the U.S. government pays for wildfire control by financing wildfire suppression out of general funds instead of treating wildfire as an agency expense draining money away from forest manage­ment and land purchase.”

LPDD Recommendation: “Congress and states could expand the national forests by acquiring and reforesting private lands, focusing on lands rendered economically unproductive by the effects of climate change.”

LPDD Recommendation: “Federal land management agencies could implement climate change mitigation and adaptation programs through the broad, discretionary authority provided by the existing organic acts.”

LPDD Recommendation: “Consistent with former Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s 2011 policy, the USFS should continue to administer landowner assistance programs so that they maximize carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, and the production of carbon-sequestering forest products.”

LPDD Recommendation: “To the extent necessary to remove fire hazards (dead trees, heavy fuel loads), states may consider streamlining environmental permitting requirements for activities such as tree removal and prescribed fires and encouraging use of the biomass for energy production.”

LPDD Recommendation: “State foresters should use existing authority to recognize the importance of considering carbon capture, geologic sequestration, and climate change adaptation in management decisions regarding state forests.”

LPDD Recommendation: “State legislatures should also purchase abandoned land for reforestation or afforestation.”

LPDD Recommendation: “State legislatures should amend state forestry laws to recognize the importance of considering carbon capture and climate change adaptation in management decisions regarding state forests.”

Proposed Climate Stewardship Act (2019)

Would provide incentives for agricultural producers to carry out climate stewardship practices, provide for increased reforestation across the United States, and establish the Coastal and Estuary Resilience Grant Program.

California EO B-52-18

Commits $96 million in additional state funds to: Improving Forest Management and Restoration; Providing Regulatory Relief; Reducing Barriers for Prescribed Fire; Boosting Education and Outreach to Land Owners; and for Supporting Wood Products.

Maryland Forest Conservation Act and proposed revisions

Adopted to minimize the loss of Maryland’s forest resources during land developing. Proposed amendments are to better define priority forests; clarify what justifies clearing priority forests; and require per acre replanting.

Forest Stewardship Program

Connects private landowners with information and tools to more actively managing their forests and related resources.