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Healthy Forests Initiative - Fact Sheet

Making A Difference
Southern Region of the United States

A cluster of red-cockaded woodpecker nesting trees. Note, there is very little understory.

The red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) is an endangered species that lives in mature pine forests from Florida to Virginia and west to southeast Oklahoma and eastern Texas. From the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, the RCW rapidly declined as the mature pine forest habitat was altered for a variety of uses. Currently, according to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), when prescribed burning projects are planned for areas with RCW, consultation must take place with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This occurs approximately 100 times a year and the consultation takes 1-2 weeks.

Red-cockaded woodpecker.

The ESA counterpart regulations under the Healthy Forests Initiative issued to streamline the consultation requirements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will shorten the timeframe for project implementation.

The elimination of the concurrence process will speed up the implementation of about 100 prescribed burn projects by 1-2 weeks, a cumulative savings of more than two years!

RCW habitat and healthy forest conditions can be achieved and maintained more quickly using the new counterpart regulations under the Healthy Forests Initiative.

For more information on the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and the Healthy Forests Initiative, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/projects/hfi/ or http://www.doi.gov/hfi/newhfi/

US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

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