The North Dakota Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources and Forest Resource Strategy provides a comprehensive analysis of the forest-related trends, conditions, threats and opportunities within the state. Our Forest Action Plan serves as a long-term collaborative plan involving local, state, federal and tribal partners with the goal of shaping forest land use in a manner that optimizes public benefits from trees and forests for present and future generations.
Our greatest priorities are to mitigate invasive tree pests (exotic or non-native tree insects and pathogens) and invasive weeds. The expansion of invasives, such as the emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease, and spotted knapweed, threaten the ecological services provided by the state’s natural resources.
Over-maturity and limited natural regeneration threatens the future sustainability of North Dakota‘s forests. Natural regeneration is hindered by the lack of processes that promote regeneration (flooding, prescribed fire, harvesting) or processes that limit regeneration (herbivory). This issue is most prominent in the state‘s aspen forests, riparian forests dominated by cottonwood, and riparian forests with an overabundance of ash.
Wildfire is a common occurrence in North Dakota. The majority of the state's fuels are still highly combustible, light fuels that burn readily and rapidly given the right environmental conditions. Preventing and responding to protect lives and property from such occurrences remains as a high priority.