USDA Forest Service

Forest Health Protection, Southern Region


USDA Forest Service
Forest Health Protection
Region 8
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Room 816 N
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: (404) 347-7478
Fax: (404) 347-1880

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


Pesticide Use Management and Coordination


The Forest Health Protection program in the Southern Region is dedicated to supporting both Regional and National pesticide use activities. Specific activities listed below are performed in support of programs in silviculture, wildlife management, right-of-way maintenance, recreation, and non-native invasive species management and in support of similar state and private programs.

Project Highlights

  • Conduct training and certify pesticide applicators in an effort to maintain qualified personnel who then manage a (to the present) low-risk, legal application program. (At present Region 8 has approximately 300 applicators certified under the USDA certification program.)
  • Provide technical assistance in the development of programmatic strategies (non-native invasive plant strategy, programmatic analysis of pesticide effects documents, etc.) and environmental documents (NEPA support documentation like programmatic documentation of potential effects of pesticide use including the relevant risk assessment support, etc.)
  • Support local NEPA/NFMA compliance document preparation as related to pesticide use and management. Documents include Forest Plan revisions, EISs, and EAs.
  • Work with the Regional ID Team to insure that protocols exist for including pesticide use and management considerations as appropriate in all Regional planning documents; the new planning rule is requiring reformulation of many existing protocols.
  • Provide technical support to R-8 in Appeals and Litigation relating to pesticide use
  • Provide technical assistance in the form of technology and science updates to NF field personnel to keep the program current and low-risk.
  • Work with NF personnel to develop or modify pesticide technology to respond to new issues such as the recent emphasis on management of non-native invasive plants.
  • Report annual pesticide-use in the Region to the Washington Office for inclusion in the annual Report to Congress.
  • Coordinate and monitor Regional activities related to the Forest Service's Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.
  • Provide the national lead in Food Quality Protection Act driven review of pesticide use patterns and interact with cooperators and the EPA to protect appropriate, forestry-related registrations of pesticides. To the present this has involved the gathering of use and need information about 18 pesticides important for forest management (forestry use registrations of 14 of the 18 have been protected through this effort.) Cooperators in this effort include states, private and university sponsored tree improvement cooperatives, corporations, product registrants, two groups in the USDA, and the EPA.
  • Cooperate with state agencies responsible for the oversight of pesticide-use to insure compliance with relevant state law and statute.
  • Work with partners to address, or encourage the addressing of, issues relating to pesticide use management.
  • Act as technical reviewer of pesticide risk assessments generated under national contract currently supported by the WO.
  • Support (finance and review) the production of a user-friendly process to generate site-specific risk assessments using the national risk assessment template.
  • Support other Regions in certifying applicators under the USDA program and in other efforts to comply with NEPA and NFMA requirements

Conclusions/Future direction

  • Continued commitment to the silviculture/timber management programs at a level commensurate with programmatic work.
  • Increased support will be provided for the use of pesticides to manage NNI plants and non-native insects as needed.
  • Continued involvement in national programs such as FQPA driven registration reviews, FSPIAP, risk assessment generation, etc.
  • Continued interaction with state regulatory agencies to keep our program in compliance with state requirements.
  • Continued involvement in the forest planning processes (NFMA/NEPA) at the regional, and often at the local, level.
  • Concern must be expressed here about recent court rulings which could significantly affect future uses of insecticides in the field. In concert with broad, sweeping, poorly worded restrictions being required on insecticide labels regarding protection of bees and also potentially as generalized and sweeping language to protect T&E species, the window of opportunity to use insecticides is being reduced to the point where their use will be ineffective either due to limitations on rates or more commonly due to limitations on the timing of allowable use.

More Information

Crop Data Management Systems (Pesticide labels and MSDSs)

EXTOXNET - The EXtension TOXicology NETwork

FIFRA (The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act)

USDA Forest Service Pesticide Risk Assessments

US EPA Integrated Risk Information System

US EPA Pesticide Fact Sheets

US EPA Registration Eligibility Documents



USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, Southern Region
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:28 CST

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