Integrated Resource Restoration Overview
The Importance of Integrated Resource Restoration
The Integrated Resource Restoration Program aligns with USDA’s vision for an integrated approach to maintaining or restoring the ecological integrity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and watersheds necessary to manage National Forest System lands so that they are ecologically sustainable. Integrated Resource Restoration takes a holistic approach to addressing the broad spectrum of restoration work by bringing it together under one budget line item. It expedites the application of funding to address integrated landscape work while allowing the agency the flexibility to address emerging ecological issues as needed.
The Forest Service has already begun to implement the Integrated Resource Restoration program partially. The passage of the 2012 Interior Appropriations Act has provided the resources and authorization necessary to implement the Integrated Resource Restoration program in three pilot regions of the Forest Service. This will enable the Forest Service to increase the pace of restoration and management in those regions. Additionally, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget package more clearly recognizes the importance of leveraging forest products and woody biomass utilization to provide jobs and strengthen the economic infrastructure for needed restoration work over the long term.
The Integrated Resource Restoration represents a significant paradigm shift in the way the Forest Service does business:
- Under Integrated Resource Restoration, agency line officers have the flexibility to prioritize and implement restoration projects with an increased efficiency and effectiveness by allowing multiple activities to be scheduled in a single field season;
- Integrated Resource Restoration facilitates increased accomplishments by placing an emphasis on collaboration with stakeholders which will in turn result in well-designed restoration projects that address multiple objectives, translating into more work and resulting in increased agreement to move projects forward;
- Integrated Resource Restoration will help achieve measureable on-the-ground improvements at a watershed scale in an era of flat and declining budgets;
- Integrated Resource Restoration will help to better address increasing challenges brought on by climate change, catastrophic fires, invasive pests, severe storm events and increased development pressure by increasing funding flexibility;
- Integrated Resource Restoration aligns the U.S. Forest Service budget structure with a focus on landscape scale restoration; and
- Integrated Resource Restoration will prevent a lack of funds for one type of activity that could result in deferral of needed work into future years.
Under Integrated Resource Restoration the Forest Service will continue to do critical work that is not directly associated with the priority landscape restoration areas. This work includes many key programs:
- Air Monitoring
- Project Rangeland Inventory and grazing permit National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance
- Native Plant Development
- Water Rights
- Firewood permits
- Special forest products (e.g. moss and mushrooms)
- Project level inventory and monitoring
- Interpretation and education outreach
- Endangered or Sensitive Species conservation actions
- Wild horse and burro management
- Restoration of washed out road segments
Integrated Resource Restoration Fund
Integrated Resource Restoration combines the authority and funding from six programs into one budget line item:
- Proposed in the FY 2011 President’s Budget: Wildlife & Fisheries, Watershed & Vegetation Management and Forest Products.
- Added in FY 2012: Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Fund, Legacy Roads and Trails, and the non-Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) portion of Hazardous Fuels.
Under Integrated Resource Restoration, performance will be measured as:
- Number of watersheds moved to an improved condition class
- Acres treated annually to sustain or restore watershed function and resilience
- Volume of timber sold
- Miles of roads decommissioned
- Miles of stream habitat restored or enhanced
|Budget Line Item||FY 2011 Target||FY 2011 Actual||FY 2012 Target||FY 2012 Actual||FY 2013 Target||FY 2013 Actual|
|Funding (in thousands)||$693,772||$0||$854,242||$146,585\1||$793,124||N/A|
|Number of watersheds moved to an improved condition class||N/A||N/A||5||N/A||10||N/A|
|Acres treated annually to sustain or restore watershed function and resilience||N/A||2,624,000||2,600,000||N/A||2,600,000||N/A|
|Volume of timber sold (mmbf)||2,400||2,533||2,600||N/A||2,800||N/A|
|Miles of roads decommissioned||1,450||1,540||2,028||N/A||2,028||N/A|
|Miles of stream habitat restored or enhanced||2,800||3,878||2,670||N/A||2,750||N/A|
The FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriation’s Act funded the Forest Service to implement an Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) pilot program in Regions 1, 3, and 4. Overall Integrated Resource Restoration funding limits were set by the FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriation's Act. Funding for each region is based upon capability, past performance, and is adjusted according to national targets. The table below represents the FY 2012 Integrated Resource Restoration allocations by region (dollars in thousands).
|Funding Levels||Region 1||Region 3||Region 4||Total\1|