Assessment of early implementation of the USFS Shared Stewardship Strategy
In 2018, in response to calls from Congress to accelerate cross-boundary fire hazard reduction and improve forest resilience, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) published the Shared Stewardship Strategy (USFS 2018). The document emphasizes partnership with the states, Tribes, and collaborative partners in order to identify priority areas for management, coordinate work across jurisdictions, and leverage diverse capacities. Key aspects of the
Strategy are as follows: 1) working with states to set priorities, particularly through State Forest Action Plans (SFAPs), share in the ownership of risks presented by fire, and coordinate planning and action; 2) using a suite of scientific tools to model and map fire risk, largely through Scenario Investment Planning processes (Ager et al. 2019), to identify the most strategic places to invest in forest management; 3) utilizing tools such as the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), stewardship contracts, and categorical exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to facilitate and accelerate forest management work; and 4) pursuing other related goals, such as working with stakeholders to develop outcome-based performance indicators, streamline internal agency processes, and expand the use of risk management principles in fire management.