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Tennessee Forestry Action Plan open for public comment

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, in cooperation with the Tennessee Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, released the draft of the 2020 Tennessee Forest Action Plan for public comment. All 50 states are required under federal law to develop and update a Forest Action Plan (FAP) every 10 years in order to be eligible to receive funds under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act administered by the USDA Forest Service.

“This Forest Action Plan builds on years of foundational work by the State of Tennessee and our partners to ensure that our forest resources are sustainably managed,” State Forester David Arnold said. “We address challenges that can impact our forests, such as a growing population, shifting markets, native and non-native pests and pathogens, and wildfire.”

One of the goals for the action plan is to motivate a wide variety of partners to collaboratively address shared objectives and bring resources that can be leveraged to support the strategies and actions identified in the FAC assessment.

The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, directing states to develop a long-term Statewide Assessment and Strategy for Forest Resources (termed Forest Action Plan). This document will serve as the guiding document to conservation professionals until 2030.

This plan provides a comprehensive assessment of the condition of Tennessee’s forest, risks and challenges associated with their health and resiliency, along with strategies for protecting, conserving, and enhancing this vital resource for our citizens and visitors.

The Division is accepting public comment on the draft through an online form until Dec. 18. Click here to read the complete Tennessee Forest Action Plan

The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating all-hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training, in addition to promoting the wise use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy.