Being 'Good Neighbors' Boosts Forest Health

Being 'Good Neighbors' Boosts Forest Health

March 30, 2018
Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press

Forests know no jurisdictional bounds. Insects, fire, and disease spread quickly without a thought to who has authority to stop them. So to be successful, efforts to manage forest health, and its impacts on people and critters, can’t focus on who owns what.

That’s where Good Neighbor Authority comes in: Not so much tearing down the fence between federal and state-owned forests, as creating a gateway to manage together, to the tune of 11 Idaho projects and counting. Idaho contains 20 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land; 63 percent is eligible for management (the rest is roadless and wilderness areas).

“Of that, our assessment showed 8.8 million is at risk to insect, disease and fire conditions,” said Craig Foss, Idaho Department of Land’s Forestry and Fire Division Administrator. “So 70 percent of that manageable land base is at high risk.”

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