NASF releases survey results on state forestry agencies

Friday, December 15, 2017

Survey finds state forestry agencies are primary providers of forest management technical assistance to private landowners nationwide

WASHINGTON — According to the National Association of State Foresters’ newly released biennial survey, family forestland owners receive more forest management technical assistance from state forestry agencies than from any other source. In fact, state forestry agencies provided 222,560 technical assists to landowners and expert advice to another 8,831 communities in 2016, the report found. 

“State foresters and the agencies they lead are integral to active forest management in the United States,” said George Geissler, the president of NASF and state forester for Oklahoma. “Private lands account for nearly 60 percent of all the forested acreage in the country, and according to the most recent data, state forestry agencies have been providing the bulk of technical assistance to America’s forestland owners. This science-based assistance – which includes one-on-one, site-specific, long-term planning support – focuses on each landowner’s specific management priorities.”

Every two years, Industry Insights helps NASF survey its 59 state forester members to capture key information on how their agencies are enhancing the value of non-federal forest lands nationwide through programs specific to forest health, stewardship, wildfire preparedness and prevention, and more.

According to this research, over 26,500 state forestry agency employees work year-round to keep our nation’s forests growing. In 2016, these employees also:

  • Trained nearly 62,000 firefighters to protect 1.52 billion acres of land from wildfires.
  • And assisted 22,883 rural fire departments in responding to wildfires.

“Nearly 59,000 wildfires have burned over 9.4 million acres of land in 2017 alone – the necessity for active forest management, wildfire response, and training is paramount,” said Jay Farrell, NASF’s executive director. “State forestry agencies provide much of the manpower, localized expertise, and in many cases, the training, to ensure critical wildfire suppression activities and mitigating forest management work gets done every day, no matter the season.”

Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook, NASF Communications Director at (202) 624-5417 and wforman-cook@stateforesters.org.

Established in 1920, the National Association of State Foresters is a non-profit organization composed of the directors of forestry agencies in the states, territories and the District of Columbia of the United States. State foresters manage and protect state and private forests, which encompass two-thirds of the nation's forests.

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