The House is expected to consider the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (Interior) bill this week after its passage by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. Arizona has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a Shared Stewardship framework, joining other western states in formalizing their commitment to the Shared Stewardship initiative

(To download a PDF of the Policy Update, please visit our publication library.)

FY 2021 Appropriations 

The House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee approved the FY 2021 Interior bill on July 7, followed by markup and passage by the House Appropriations Committee on July 10. The bill provides $3.13 billion in non-fire funding for the USDA Forest Service (Forest Service), not including the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) due to the anticipated passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The GAOA would permanently fund the LWCF, so the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is not included within State and Private Forestry (S&PF) due to its funding being derived from the LWCF. The $300.30 million for S&PF listed below excludes the approximately $63.99 million for FLP, making the actual difference in recommended funding for S&PF an increase of approximately $17.3 million. 

Within the Forest Service accounts, the bill provides: 

  • $80.95 million for Forest Inventory and Analysis (almost $4 million increase from FY 2020);
  • $300.3 million for S&PF (accounting for the exclusion of FLP, this is an increase of approximately $17.3 million from FY 2020); 
  • $2.06 billion for National Forest System ($100 million increase from FY 2020); and
  • $2.39 billion for Wildland Fire Management and an additional $2.04 billion cap adjustment available if needed for suppression funding (approximately $125 million increase from FY 2020). 

For additional details, please see the updated CWSF/WFLC Forest Service Budget Table. A summary of the House recommendations for the Interior bill can be found here, the full text prior to amendments here, and the committee report here (page 110 and page 227 begin the relevant Forest Service sections). The House is expected to consider the Interior bill within a four-bill minibus (H.R. 7406) this week. A division-by-division summary of the minibus can be found here

Shared Stewardship in Arizona

This month, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey entered into a Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), making Arizona the 14th state to agree to a Shared Stewardship framework. The Arizona MOU focuses on “Restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and reducing the risk of wildfire to communities; identifying, managing, and reducing threats to forest and ecosystem health; and fostering economic development strategies that keep working forests productive.” This MOU sets the intent for a formalized Shared Stewardship agreement in the future, which is expected to include coordination of multiple federal agencies and Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.