Forest Health Protection
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Room 816 N
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 347-7478
Fax: (404) 347-1880
Healthy Forest Initiative
Forests Restoration Act
- The Healthy Forests
Initiative (HFI) was launched in August, 2002 by President Bush with
the intent to reduce the risks severe wildfires pose to people, communities,
and the environment. The Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) of 2003
was passed as part of HFI administrative reforms and is the first major
piece of forestry legislation affecting public lands since the 1970's.
Region created a Healthy Forests Regional Coordinator position on
February 8, 2004 and assigned it to Jim Ehlers, Forest Health Protection
The Region then
created an Implementation Team, a Working Group, and established a
group of Field Coordinators. Wes Nettleton is a member of the Implementation
Team and Don Duerr is a member of the Working Group. Jim Ehlers is
a member of both.
- On March 3, 2004
the Regional Healthy Forests Restoration Strategy was completed. The
strategy established a regional goal, critical success factors, an action
plan, and a performance plan.
In FY 2004, the
Southern Region treated a record 1,174,000 acres of hazardous fuels,
with 987,000 in the Wildland-urban interface (WUI). Also in FY 2004
the Region awarded 16 stewardship contracts for a total of 5,482 acres.
In addition five stewardship contract training sessions were conducted,
reaching over 270 employees.
In FY 2005, the
Southern Region has a 955,000 acre target for hazardous fuels and
an 186,000 acre target for mechanical treatments. To date, the Region
has accomplished 46% of the fuels treatment target and 7% of the mechanical
Vegetation Treatment 5 Year Action Plan for each national forest field
unit was recently completed as part of implementing the Region's Healthy
Forests Restoration Strategy. These plans will help the units strategically
plan their vegetation treatment schedules to achieve healthy forests
The Region is
collaborating with the Southern Research Station on several silvicultural
assessment projects using the authorities in HFRA Title IV. These
projects include: Red-oak borer in the Ozark and Ouachita National
Forests in Arkansas; gypsy moth and oak decline in the Daniel Boone
National Forest in Kentucky, and southern pine beetle in the National
Forests in Texas as well as in the Kisatchie and Ouachita National
In FY 2004, the
Southern Region FHP Program included suppression and prevention efforts
as well as the restoration of lands impacted by native and nonnative
invasive species for a wide range of projects:
pine beetle: In FY 2004 the FHP program provided $7 million
to carry out SPB prevention treatments on 46,000 acres of state
and private lands, and $4 million to implement SPB prevention
treatments on 25,000 acres of national forest land. In FY 2005
FHP is providing $10 million to support prevention and restoration
work on state and private lands, and $4 million for national forest
lands. These prevention efforts typically improve fire condition
class and enhance wildlife habitat as well.
borer: Suppression and prevention efforts were funded in Arkansas,
where roughly 3,000 acres of red oak borer prevention treatments
were carried out in FY 2004 in the Ozark-St. Francis National
In FY 2005, FHP
worked with the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests to submit
a successful bid for a national Integrated Landscape Design to Maximize
Fuel Treatment Effectiveness Request for Proposals.
In FY 2004 and
2005 FHP networked a lot of information on biomass utilization efforts
to the National Forests and management units.
In FY 2005 a
draft paper on HFRA and State forester roles was developed. Also a
paper was developed to simplify the various definitions of the Wildland
Urban Interface (WUI) and another paper developed in FY 2004 to aid
field resource managers with understanding HFI and HFRA.
- In FY 2005 a new
Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) is being
established as part of the Agency's program under the Healthy Forest
Restoration Act of 2003. The Center will be located in Asheville, North
Carolina and will be a part of a network of early warning activities
established by the Forest Service nationwide. EFETAC will focus on providing
science and technology for early detection and assessment of environmental
threats such as invasive insects, diseases, or plants so that managers
can take early, decisive action to stop or mitigate the identified problem.
The focus of the Center will be on the entire eastern United States.
The program will have an emphasis on threats to hardwood forests, but
will also include threats to conifers. The program will include a focus
on modeling and remote sensing and other early warning techniques. A
key part of the program will be the delivery of this knowledge to managers
and the public in ways that are user friendly and accessible.
current focus on the Healthy Forests Restoration Strategy goal of
achieving "A fully integrated, active, and progressive land management
program that emphasizes healthy, sustainable forests and rangelands
across the Southern Region
- Continue efforts
to increase the use of HFI and HFRA authorities.
1720 Peachtree Road, NW, Suite 862 S
Atlanta, GA 30309