WASHINGTON, DC — Forests and grasslands are facing challenges that make meeting restoration needs difficult. Insects, disease, and wildfire are all issues that threaten forest health, resilience and productivity.
Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon said, “having sustainable, healthy, resilient forests in the future depends on our ability to increase work on the ground and achieve increased outcomes.”
To that end, the Forest Service is examining ways to address these needs, and one of them is through Forest Products Modernization. This effort seeks to address forest restoration needs by looking at what role forest products delivery can play in addressing those challenges.
As part of this effort, the Forest Service is looking to form solution teams. These teams will be made up of employees from the district, forest and regional levels and will be charged with bringing their extensive experience and skill to the table in tackling how addressing forest products delivery can improve the condition of the forest.
The solution teams will be focused on six priority areas that were established by the forest products management guiding team. This team was formed in 2017, and is made up of a cross section of regional, forest and district leadership. Those priority areas that the solution teams will consider are:
- Personnel recruitment, staffing and training
- Sale layout
- Timber sale accounting, scaling and accountability
- Contracting and permitting
In addition to the solution and guiding teams, an implementation team was set up to begin work on several short- and mid-term actions and to review potential policy barriers to the Forest Products Modernization effort. They are also working to find ways to employ innovation in improving the systems used to deliver forest products.
These teams are all working together to find solutions to these shared problems, and to explore how Forest Products Modernization can lead to better forest products delivery and improved forest health, resilience and productivity.
“I appreciate the work these teams have done and are setting out to do,” Weldon said, “modernizing our delivery of forest products in order to improve forest conditions is an urgent need.”
If you are interested in being part of the Solution Teams, check out the letter from Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon for more information or contact your regional guiding team members with questions.