Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Reporting, Guidance, and Directives
Implementing Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Projects
After the Secretary has notified the Regional Forester that a Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program project has been selected, Title IV requires additional implementation actions. This section describes the process for developing a work plan, multi-party monitoring, and reporting requirements associated with the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.
Developing a Work Plan
Within 180 days of being notified the project has been selected, a work plan must be developed and approved. The requesting unit shall create, in collaboration with the other parties involved in the proposal, an implementation work plan and budget to implement the proposal.
To meet Title IV requirements, the work plan must include the following elements:
- Implementation Description – Describe how the proposal will be implemented to achieve ecological and community economic benefit, including capacity building to accomplish restoration.
- Business Plan – Develop a business plan that addresses the following elements:
- anticipated unit treatment cost reductions over 10 years;
- anticipated costs for infrastructure needed for the proposal;
- projected sustainability of the supply of woody biomass and small-diameter trees removed in ecological restoration treatments; and,
- the projected local economic benefits of the proposal.
- Document non-Federal investment in the proposal, including the sources and uses of the investments.
- Temporary Road Decommissioning Plan – Include a plan to decommission any temporary roads established to carry out the proposal.
The work plan will be submitted to the Regional Forester for approval. Project implementation may begin once the requesting unit has been notified that the work plan has been approved.
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Work Plan Template 2012 (.docx, 22 KB)
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Work Plan Template Instructions 2012 (.docx, 21 KB)
Annual Reporting Requirements
For all Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program funded projects, the Regional Forester will prepare an annual report on the accomplishments of each selected proposal beginning in the fiscal year that Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program funding is first received and annually thereafter for the life of the project. The annual report shall include:
- a description of all acres (or other appropriate unit) treated and restored through projects implementing the strategy;
- an evaluation of progress, including performance measures and how prior year evaluations have contributed to improved project performance;
- a description of community benefits achieved, including any local economic benefits;
- the results of the multiparty monitoring, evaluation, and accountability process; and,
- a summary of the costs of treatments; and relevant fire management activities.
The annual report shall be kept on file by the Regional Forester and made available to the Secretary upon request. Accomplishments and expenditures should match the numbers in the databases of record. Please see the program direction [link to program direction] and Peer Learning Session #7: Reporting in the Databases of Record- March 21, 2012 for more information.
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Annual Report 2013 Template (.docx, 40 KB)
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Annual Report Instructions 2013 (.docx, 49 KB)
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Annual Report 2013 Letter (.doc, 57 KB)
- Volunteer Service Record (.doc, 288 KB)
Five-Year Reporting Requirements
The Secretary will prepare a 5-year report in accordance with Title IV not later than 5 years after the first fiscal year in which Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program funds are made available, and every 5 years thereafter. The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, shall submit a report on the program, including an assessment of whether, and to what extent, the program is fulfilling the purposes of this title to the Congressional Committees specified in the Act.
- Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Ecological Indicator (.doc, 57 KB) - letter to Regional Foresters from the Deputy Chief, National Forest System, releasing the guidance for the ecological indicator.
- Guidance: Tracking and Reporting Ecological Outcomes of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act (.docx, 75 KB)
Tools to Support Completion of the Annual Report , Work Plan, and Five Year Report
Cost reductions in management of uncharacteristic wildfire: R-CAT (Risk and Cost Analysis Tool)
The reporting requirements under section 4001 Purpose – Section (3) stipulate that funds obtained through the Act will be used to “facilitate the reduction of wildfire management costs, including through reestablishing natural fire regimes and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire.” Subsection 4(A)(ii) states that projects will “affect wildfire activity and management costs,” and Subsection 4(B) states that “the use of forest restoration byproducts can offset treatment costs while benefiting local rural economies and improving forest health.” To help Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program teams meet these requirements, a team of NFS economists and fire modelers from the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center developed: 1) a set of analysis procedures based upon the coupling of two peer-reviewed models used by the Forest Service and other federal land management agencies: FSim (Finney et al. 2011), a spatially explicit large fire spread model, and a large fire cost model (Gebert et al. 2007), and 2) a tool for estimating wildland fire management cost savings using the analysis outputs and other information on treatment costs and revenues.
Over a period of two to three years, the FY2010 and FY 2012 teams will be required to follow the R-CAT analysis procedures and tool for estimating fire management cost savings. A general outline of the required analysis procedures and use of the tool are described in the R-CAT PowerPoint presentation and the User’s Guide (the User’s Guide is currently being updated; check back for updates to the User Guide in the near future). The R-CAT spreadsheet and an example of a completed spreadsheet using the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project are also included below.
- Estimating Fire Program Management Cost Savings and Risk Reduction for the US Forest Service's Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Fuel Treatments, Using the Risk and Cost Analysis Tools Package (R-CAT) (PDF, 4.5 MB) - Outline of analysis procedures and spreadsheet tool.
- R-CAT User’s Guide (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Benefits to Local Economies
Another requirement under Title V is a projection of the local economic benefits associated with project activities. Given the varying degrees of economic capacity among Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program teams, a tool was developed to standardize the approach of estimating the number of jobs and the amount of labor income that would be supported by restoration efforts. Having a standardized approach allows for a basis of comparison across teams and for consistent reporting of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program accomplishments. If teams used different methodologies to estimate the number of jobs created, it would be difficult to compare the impacts.
The Treatments for Restoration Economic Analysis Tool (TREAT) was developed to address this problem. TREAT provides teams with a standard interface to estimate employment and labor income impacts from proposed restoration activities, and its use is required for Work Plans and Annual Reports. TREAT consists of a data-entry spreadsheet and an impact calculation spreadsheet (available only for use by NFS economists) and was designed for use only by Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program teams. The User Guide explains the methodology and functionality of TREAT as applied to Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects.
- Treatments for Restoration Economic Analysis Tool (TREAT) version date 8/17/2012 (.xlsx, 46 KB)
- TREAT User Guide (PDF, 374 KB)
Multi-Party Monitoring of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Projects
Multiparty monitoring brings people with different views and expertise together to deal with broad landscape level issues and reduce potential conflict over actions by providing a way for interested groups to discuss, reach agreement, and collaboratively appropriate beneficial management activities.
Title IV mandates the use of multiparty monitoring to:
- provide accountability, and
- assess the positive or negative ecological, social, and economic effects not less than 15 years after project implementation commences
The diagram below illustrates the key steps in multiparty development and monitoring process. (Adapted from Multiparty Monitoring and Assessment of Collaborative Forest Restoration Projects - Short Guide for Grant Recipients, 2008).
(PDF, 119 KB)
Title IV recognizes the experimental nature of landscape-scale ecological restoration and importance of collecting, analyzing, and sharing that information to advance the underlying goals of proposed ecosystem restoration.
Additional general information concerning multi-party monitoring requirements can be found in the “Multiparty Monitoring and Assessment of Collaborative Forest Restoration Projects - Short Guide for Grant Recipients” (PDF, 0.5 MB).