WASHINGTON – The USDA Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (FRCC) announced its recommendations to improve private forest land throughout the US in an advisory report addressed to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The committee recommended maintaining federal and state technical assistance and conservation programs, and funding additional programs to engage woodland owners while tracking progress and impacts over time.

It also recommended prioritizing USDA investments in private forest landowner programs, and continuing to invest in conservation and management programs such as the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership.

“USDA programs that provide market opportunities for private forest landowners are critical to sustaining working forests as well as local communities and economies,” the committee stated in its recommendation.

The USDA’s continued investment in research to position wood as a green building material improves markets for wood products. Efforts to increase federal and private construction with wood products and expansion of programs, such as those currently available through USDA Rural Development, for wood product utilization are necessary to ensure retention of current markets and provide increased potential for new and developing markets to support healthy private forests,” the report concluded.

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