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Healthy Forestland

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a federal agency that emphasizes voluntary, science-based assistance to help private forest landowners. The NRCS promotes and informs private forest landowners about forestry practices that can improve growth, reduce risk, and improve forest health. Many of these practices can be cost-shared through Farm
Bill programs.

Healthy Forests

Forest health is a very broad term. Many forests are both healthy and productive. However, a number of different concerns have been identified as major forestry problems in the west. These include fire and fuels, invasion of non-native and native pests, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, water quality and quantity, and degraded riparian forests.

Many forest stands have too many trees per acre (overstocked) or contain a disproportionate amount of shrubs in the understory. This competition for light, nutrients, and water leaves forests extremely susceptible to disease and insect damage, increases the risk of catastrophic fire, reduces productivity, and provides poor quality wildlife habitat as well as limited recreational
opportunities. Other forests, for a number of reasons, have too few trees.


NRCS conservationists can assist forest landowners with management decisions as well as providing technical and financial assistance to improve forest health and reduce the impacts of catastrophic wildfires. In more than 75 years of assisting forest and woodland landowners, NRCS has assembled a body of technical standards to help producers address a large number of natural resource concerns. Forest conservation activities exemplify the type of practices for which NRCS provides technical and financial assistance.

NRCS California Forestry Training

Below are documents pertaining to NRCS California forestry. The main purpose of these documents are for staff and forestry partner training. The information provides an overview of NRCS California forestry policies, programs, goals, and technical procedures.

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Information and Further Resources

Dead trees at Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaDead and Dying Trees

The following documents require Acrobat Reader offsite link image    .


Updated: 12/30/2019