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Environment / Sustainability

Unique effort to improve land stewardship in Colo.

October 14, 2010

The Colorado Joint Forestry Memorandum, announced at the State Technical Committee meeting of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, is intended to foster further coordination between the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service. In turn, these agencies will leverage each other's resources to provide landowners with comprehensive assistance to implement conservation practices across all land-ownership and administrative boundaries.

Conservation practices across all land-ownership boundaries

Several agencies will leverage each other's resources to provide landowners with comprehensive conservation assistance.

The non-fiscal agreement indicates that the Colorado Statewide Forest Resource Assessment, recently published by the Colorado State Forest Service, will be used to identify priority landscapes and values. Like the assessment document, the memorandum emphasizes a landscape-scale approach to address issues that encompass a mosaic of private and public lands, including:

  • community and watershed protection from wildfire
  • landscape fragmentation
  • forest insects and diseases
  • invasive species
  • erodible soils

The roles of each undersigned organization are as follows:

  • CSFS will have primary leadership responsibility for forestry programs on state and private lands.
  • CACD will provide program delivery from the 76 conservation districts in Colorado.
  • NRCS will coordinate with partners to provide natural resource conservation planning and financial assistance on private lands.
  • USFS will provide federal land management and technical and financial assistance.

Enhanced coordination, annual review

Specific objectives identified in the memorandum include:

  • enhanced coordination of interagency responses and program delivery; increased engagement of agency partners
  • recognition of existing programs and efforts to prevent duplication
  • an annual interagency review of outcomes to gauge progress of the collaborative approach

In 2008, the NRCS, USFS, National Association of State Foresters and National Association of Conservation Districts signed a similar memorandum at the national level.

Agreement effective until 2015

The Colorado memorandum is effective until 2015, but will be re-evaluated regularly. The next step for the agencies involved is the development of a long-term Colorado Joint Forestry Strategic Plan, followed by focused annual operating plans that identify specific projects and concerns.


Contact: Kimberly Sorensen
E-mail: Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-0757