The Pennsylvania NRCS works in coordination with other federal, state, local governments as well as universities and non-governmental organizations to provide assistance on private land forestry issues. Pennsylvania is a heavily forested state with forest lands totaling 16.8 million acres which covers about 58% of the state. Non-industrial private forest lands cover about 11.5 Million acres in Pennsylvania.
NRCS Technical and Financial Assistance
Through the Farm Bill, NRCS offers technical and financial support for private non-industrial forest land owners to address natural resources concerns. NRCS conservation practices and enhancements are available to help you manage your forest land. NRCS financial assistance is available through conservation programs to help you develop a forest management plan and to implement practices and enhancements recommended in your plan.
Improving Forest Health and Wildlife Habitat
Healthy forests are sustained by a diversity of age classes but diverse forests have been on the decline in Pennsylvania. The loss of diverse forests has had a negative impact on many different wildlife species, including the golden-winged warbler and cerulean warbler. With the help of NRCS assistance these Pennsylvania forest landowners are doing their part to help increase forest health and improve wildlife habitat.
- National Agroforestry Center (NAC) — Partnership of the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Works to accelerate the development and application of agroforestry technologies to achieve more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable land-use systems.
- Environmental Protection Agency — Primarily a regulatory agency responsible for enforcing the environmental laws of the United States. Contains a search engine particularly useful for retrieving data about regulations pertaining to forestry.
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This site provides a search engine relating forestry to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission.
- US Forest Service — Federal agency responsible for managing all national forests in the United States. As set forth in the law, the mission of the Forest Service is to achieve quality land management under the sustainable multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of the people.
NRCS Technical Service Providers (TSP's)
NRCS Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals or businesses that help you write a Forest Management Plan which includes the Conservation Planning Activity (CPA 106) and the Design and Implementation Activity (DIA 165) . For more information, see the NRCS Technical Service Provider site.
Coordination with Partners
Pennsylvania NRCS and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry have a Memorandum of Agreement that commits each agency to continued coordination and collaboration to assist non-industrial private forest land owners and operators with the conservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources. To ensure this continued collaboration, a Guide to Forestry Roles and Responsibilities and Application Checklist is available which serves as a workflow to assist NRCS Field Staff, DCNR-BOF Service Foresters, TSPs, and non-industrial private forest owners or operators through the process of applying for assistance and implementing forestry related financial assistance conservation contracts with NRCS.
NRCS Contact Us
Contact your local NRCS office to ask questions about NRCS forestry and agroforestry assistance. Here are other resources to guide you:
• Getting Started with NRCS
• Program Application Forms
• Veteran Farm and Forestry Assistance
• Agroforestry Systems Guidance
• USDA National Invasive Species Information Center offsite link image
• Best Management Practices for Pennsylvania Forests offsite link image
• USDA Plants Database