The State Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee
The Forest Stewardship Program
In the 1990 Farm Bill, the Cooperative Forestry Assistance act of 1978 was amended to create the Forest Stewardship program. Michigan's DNR administers the federally funded Forest Stewardship Program to provide assistance to private forestland owners. This program provides technical assistance, outreach and education programs, and cost share money for forest stewardship plans for private forestlands.
In addition, Federal guidelines of the law require that the Forest Stewardship Coordinating [Advisory] committee be created. Duties of the committee include:
- Provide advice and recommendations to the State Forester concerning the program implementation.
- Provide assistance and recommendations regarding the development, implementation, monitoring and updating of the State Forest Stewardship plan.
- Provide advice and recommendations regarding the prioritization of forest areas for focusing program efforts. This may be done via the Spatial Analysis project.
The Forest Legacy Program
The committee's consulting and recommending duties for the Forest Legacy Program are identified in the Cooperative Forestry Assistance act and the FLP guidelines, and include the following:
- Establishing eligibility criteria and recommending Forest Legacy Areas in the Assessment of Need process.
- Prioritizing lands for inclusion in the FLP.
- Advising the State lead agency in order to achieve Forest Legacy Program objectives.
- Meet at least once a year to evaluate and approve applications for funding according to the criteria developed in the Assessment of Need (AON). The Forest Land Enhancement Program This program has expired and the funds will no longer be available after 2008.
History in Michigan
In Michigan, the Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee (FSAC) was initiated in 1991, under the guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and required under the 1990 Federal Farm Bill (sec. 1222) which amended the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (codified in 16 USC 2103a).
The Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee evolved from the Michigan Forestry Planning and Development Committee (MFPDC). The first Forest Stewardship Coordinator was appointed in December, 1991. The selection of the FSAC was done in February, 1992, and the first meeting of the full committee was March 5,1992