Effective land stewardship is a compelling issue in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Climate change, urbanization, fire, and pests are among many threats to our Nation's forests and the ecosystem services they provide. With one-quarter of the Nation's forests, and nearly half (43%) of the Nation's population i this region, conserving our forests is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The Forest Service in the Northeast and Midwest and the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) together offer a vision of landscape scale conservation to address these and other threats by reaching across ownership boundaries. In a recent speech, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack advanced the need to conserve America's forests through an all-lands approach, accentuating community health and wealth, sustaining clean and abundant water, restoring forests, and protecting communities from wildfire. The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) has recently articulated an all-lands vision for forests that recognizes the value of all forests and trees—rural and urban, public and private—in the Nation. Secretary Vilsack's visionary statement holds that the Forest Service isn't solely an agency concerned with the fate of our National Forests, which encompass 7 percent of the region's forested lands, but must use its direct and indirect role to help steward all of America's forests: state, tribal, private, and urban. The Forest Service and NAASF recognize that public benefits as well as forest threats cross boundaries and are best addressed through integrated partnerships and infrastructure (markets, resource professionals, and information).
From the foreword to Landscape Scale Conservation in the Northeast and Midwest, a comprehensive statement from the three mission areas of the Forest Service (Eastern Region, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and Northern Research Station) and the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters. Read the whole document here.
Who is Eligible to Participate?
Private landowners interested in keeping their forest land as healthy and productive as possible – both for their own enjoyment – as well as future owners. The forestland can include any non-industrial private forest lands owned by a private individual, group association, corporation, Indian tribe or other private, legal entity. It includes rural lands with existing tree cover as well as land suitable for growing trees.
The Landscape Stewardship Approach
Through the Forest Stewardship Program, the Forest Service is working with state forest agencies and other partners on a new program delivery approach, that ties individual landowners to the larger landscape, and encourages the development of multi-landowner, landscape-scale Forest Stewardship plans.