The Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership enables NRCS and the Forest Service to collaborate with agricultural producers and forest landowners to invest in conservation and restoration at a big enough scale to make a difference. Working in partnership, and at this scale, helps reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.
Through the new three-year projects, landowners will work with local USDA experts and partners to apply targeted forestry management practices on their land, such as thinning, hazardous fuel treatments, fire breaks and other systems to meet unique forestry challenges in their area.
USDA will invest more than $48.6 million this year through the Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, restore forest ecosystems, and ultimately contribute to USDA’s efforts to combat climate change. This year, the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest in projects, including 14 new projects, bringing together agricultural producers, forest landowners, and National Forest System lands to improve forest health using available Farm Bill conservation programs and other authorities.
In 2022, USDA invested more than $48 million through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, restore forest ecosystems and ultimately contribute to USDA’s efforts to combat climate change. USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invested in 41 projects, including 17 new ones, bringing together agricultural producers, forest landowners, and National Forest System lands to improve forest health using available Farm Bill conservation programs and other authorities.
Completed Project Accomplishments
This year’s selections bring the total number of Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration projects to 110. Since 2014, these projects have delivered important forest and rangeland funding to 41 states and Puerto Rico. They provide private landowners with conservation resources that help them complete restoration efforts on their land for healthier and more resilient forest ecosystems.
The efforts of the Joint Chief's have produced outstanding results that can be explored here.
Opportunities to Collaborate
Joint Chief’s project proposals are developed through a collaborative process between NRCS, Forest Service and partners. Past partners have included county, state, non-governmental, Tribal, utilities or private individual stakeholders. The collaboration process and partnerships will depend on the specific community needs of each project. Proposals are reviewed and vetted at multiple levels in the agencies based on local, state, Tribal and regional priorities.
NRCS and Forest Service national offices will solicit proposals submissions for FY23 projects between May 24, 2022 and August 5, 2022. An announcement of the selected projects in planned for late fall 2022. A solicitation for FY24 proposal is planned for spring 2023. For more information on the proposal development process or collaboration opportunities, please contact one of the program contacts below, or use the following links to find a local NRCS office or Forest Service contact.
In selecting proposals, NRCS and the Forest Service will prioritize:
- Clear descriptions with goals and objectives, deliverables, timeline and measurable desired outcomes.
- Reduction of wildfire risk in a municipal watershed or the wildland-urban interface (WUI). A municipal watershed is a watershed from which municipal water is provided by a utility. The WUI as defined by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511).
- Development of the proposal through a collaborative process with participation from diverse stakeholders.
- Increase of forest workforce capacity or forest business infrastructure and development.
- Leveraging existing authorities and non-federal funding contributions from partners.
- Support of established state, Tribal and regional priorities. Proposals should describe how the eligible activities were prioritized across the landscape and the source of the state or regional priorities (e.g., fireshed analysis, wildfire risk assessment, state technical committee watershed prioritization, Endangered Species Act recovery plan, state wildlife action plan, etc.).
- Alignment with USDA priorities and the Justice40 initiative, including benefits to historically underserved communities and climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
- Partner participation in proposal development or project implementation.
- Coordination (i.e., pre-planning) with individual landowners within the proposal footprint.
- The geographic distribution of individual project activities across the landscape demonstrates a focus on resource conditions and a balance between land ownerships.
- Education and outreach to local communities about the project.
Clint Cross, FS
Matthew Vandersande, NRCS