Maine's Statewide Forest Assessment and Strategy
Maine submitted its State Forest Assessment and Strategies to the USDA Forest Service on June 16, 2010.
The 2008 Farm Bill requires states to complete state forest assessments and resource strategies as a condition of receiving federal funds to support state forestry programs. The planning process has three components:
- Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources: provides an analysis of forest conditions and trends in the state and delineates priority rural and urban forest landscape areas.
- Statewide Forest Resource Strategy: provides long-term strategies for investing state, federal, and other resources to manage priority landscapes identified in the assessment, focusing where federal investment can most effectively stimulate or leverage desired action and engage multiple partners.
- Annual Report on Use of Funds: describes how federal funds were used to address the assessment and strategy, including the leveraging of funding and resources through partnerships, for any given fiscal year.
Maine will integrate the Statewide Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy ("Assessment") process into its existing forest resource planning framework. The intent of Maine's Assessment is to identify key forest-related issues and priorities to support development of a long-term Resource Strategy specific to Maine's forest needs.
The Assessment process will identify landscape areas where national, regional, and state resource issues and priorities converge. It will incorporate the best data available, work with stakeholders, and adequately consider other state assessments, plans, and priorities as relevant. It is hoped that the Assessment will provide valuable feedback in communicating forest-related issues, threats, and opportunities in the state.
The Assessment will address the three national themes identified by the USDA Forest Service:
- Conserve Working Forest Lands: conserving and managing working forest landscapes for multiple values and uses.
- Protect Forests From Harm: protect forests from threats, including fire, catastrophic storms, flooding, insect or disease outbreaks, and invasive species.
- Enhance Public Benefits from Trees and Forests: including air and water quality, soil conservation, biological diversity, carbon storage, and forest products, forestry-related jobs, production of renewable energy, and wildlife.