November 15, 2020 – Pacific Southwest Regional Director Paul Souza, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, USDA-FS Intermountain Region Regional Forester Nora Rasure and BLM State Director for Jon Raby have signed a joint land management agreement in the state of Nevada. SACRAMENTO – In an important step in improving the management of California`s forests, the newsom administration and the U.S. Forest Service today announced a new joint state initiative to reduce the risk of forest fires, restore watersheds, protect habitat and biodiversity, and help the state meet its climate goals. In September 2019, the National Association of State Foresters passed a resolution on the common trust and an independent report detailing the state`s vision of needs for a common trust. In February 2020, the Department of Forestry and Wildlife of the Department of Natural and Land Resources of Hawaii signed an air management agreement shared with the USDA Forest Service to increase the scale and scale of critical forest treatment. The agreement recognizes that threats to Nevada`s ecosystems continue to increase, including large-scale forest fires and the invasion of non-native grasses, which exacerbate fire challenges and damage wildlife habitat. To address these threats, the Forestry Service has announced a new strategy to cooperate more closely with states. Since 2018, eight states have signed agreements. The Nevada agreement is the first agreement covering the BLM and the service. This expanded partnership is crucial to the success of the agreement, as 86% of Nevada is federally owned. The Utah Department of Natural Resources entered into a joint management agreement in May 2019. In July 2019, Utah Governor Herbert announced that up to US$20 million will be spent on joint trust projects over the next four years. In July 2020, the State of Arizona entered into a joint loyalty agreement with the USDA Forest Service to accelerate the pace and scope of projects such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), which protects communities from forest fires and creates healthy and resilient landscapes.
In April 2019, Montana`s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation agreed to work with the USDA Forest Service to advance the goals of the USDA Shared Stewardship Strategy and Governor Bullock`s Forest in the Focus 2.0 initiative. Governor Bullock also launched an Advisory Council for Forestry Action in May 2019 to oversee the state`s 10-year review plan, which will serve as a planning document for joint management. In September 2019, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Arkansas Forestry Commission) and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission entered into a joint trust agreement with the USDA Forest Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. And with forest action plans that undersied joint decision-making and priority setting for U.S. forest management, The Golden State is the youngest state to have signed a shared management agreement with the USFS.