Forest Sevice 2
“We announced an initiative earlier this year that we call shared stewardship. And we have, I think, 10 states now under an agreement where we're partnering with states to agree on the areas of highest priority treatment and then we're working on those areas together.”
Associate Forest Service chief Lenise Lago said her agency also partners with a host of organizations.
“Generally speaking, the total value of our partnerships and agreements is over a billion dollars annually and more than half of that is contributed by the partner.”
She added, forests are the beneficiaries. “Where a forest is well maintained, able to reduce deferred maintenance. You know, my guess is that’s a forest with a lot of thriving partnerships.”
She pointed out that much of her agency's efforts to improve its infrastructure have been deferred because funds have been diverted to pay for increasingly costly wildfires.
“The condition of deteriorated infrastructure means we can't provide access or we can't provide a full season of use to many users of national forest lands.”
At the same time, she commented on a recent Commerce Department report that the outdoor recreation economy contributed two point two percent to the nation's gross domestic product in 2017.
“The statistic of two point two percent might sound small, but it is interesting to note that it is growing almost 50 percent faster than general GDP.” That means there is room to grow.