Published since 1946
Secretary Vilsack Announces 10 Year Wildfire Strategy
U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a new plan on January 18 that will direct the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) efforts to address growing threats from catastrophic wildfire. The 10-year plan, “Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests” calls for focusing fuels and forest health treatments more strategically and scaling up the efforts by working closely with partners. The Forest Service will focus on high risk “firesheds” that are typically about 250,000 acres in size where a wildfire could affect homes, communities, infrastructure, and natural resources. With this focus, the USFS will treat an additional 20 million acres on national forests and grasslands and support treatment of an additional 30 million acres on other federal, state, Tribal, and private lands. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $3 billion to reduce hazardous fuels and restore national forests and grasslands as well as support fire-adapted communities and post-fire restoration.
“We already have the tools, the knowledge and the partnerships in place to begin this work in many of our national forests and grasslands, and now we have funding that will allow us to build on the research and the lessons learned to address this wildfire crisis facing many of our communities,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “We want to thank Congress, the President and the American people for entrusting us to do this important work.”
The Forest Service working with the National Forest Foundation will be convening virtual roundtable events in the nine Forest Service regions to assist in developing the implementation plan for the strategy. Participation in the roundtables is by invitation and will begin in February and continue through May 2022.