United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 19, 2024

§ 2101.
Findings, purpose, and policy
(a)
Findings
Congress finds that—
(1)
most of the productive forest land of the United States is in private, State, and local governmental ownership, and the capacity of the United States to produce renewable forest resources is significantly dependent on such non-Federal forest lands;
(2)
adequate supplies of timber and other forest resources are essential to the United States, and adequate supplies are dependent on efficient methods for establishing, managing, and harvesting trees and processing, marketing, and using wood and wood products;
(3)
nearly one-half of the wood supply of the United States comes from nonindustrial private timberlands and such percentage could rise with expanded assistance programs;
(4)
managed forest lands provide habitats for fish and wildlife, as well as aesthetics, outdoor recreation opportunities, and other forest resources;
(5)
the soil, water, and air quality of the United States can be maintained and improved through good stewardship of privately held forest resources;
(6)
insects and diseases affecting trees occur and sometimes create emergency conditions on all land, whether Federal or non-Federal, and efforts to prevent and control such insects and diseases often require coordinated action by both Federal and non-Federal land managers;
(7)
fires in rural areas threaten human lives, property, forests and other resources, and Federal-State cooperation in forest fire protection has proven effective and valuable;
(8)
trees and forests are of great environmental and economic value to urban areas;
(9)
managed forests contribute to improving the quality, quantity, and timing of water yields that are of broad benefit to society;
(10)
over half the forest lands of the United States are in need of some type of conservation treatment;
(11)
forest landowners are being faced with increased pressure to convert their forest land to development and other purposes;
(12)
increased population pressures and user demands are being placed on private, as well as public, landholders to provide a wide variety of products and services, including fish and wildlife habitat, aesthetic quality, and recreational opportunities;
(13)
stewardship of privately held forest resources requires a long-term commitment that can be fostered through local, State, and Federal governmental actions;
(14)
the Department of Agriculture, through the coordinated efforts of its agencies with forestry responsibilities, cooperating with other Federal agencies, State foresters, and State political subdivisions, has the expertise and experience to assist private landowners in achieving individual goals and public benefits regarding forestry;
(15)
the products and services resulting from nonindustrial private forest land stewardship provide income and employment that contribute to the economic health and diversity of rural communities; 1
1
 See 1990 Amendment note below.
(16)
sustainable agroforestry systems and tree planting in semiarid lands can improve environmental quality and maintain farm yields and income; and 1
(18)
2
2
 So in original. Probably should be “(17)”.
the same forest resource supply, protection, and management issues that exist in the United States are also present on an international scale, and the forest and rangeland renewable resources of the world are threatened by deforestation due to conversion to agriculture of lands better suited to other purposes, over-grazing, over-harvesting, and other causes which pose a direct adverse threat to people, the global environment, and the world economy.1
(b)
Purpose
It is the purpose of this chapter to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture (hereafter in this chapter referred to as the “Secretary”), with respect to non-Federal forest lands in the United States, and forest lands in foreign countries, of the United States, to assist in—
(1)
the establishment of a coordinated and cooperative Federal, State, and local forest stewardship program for management of the non-Federal forest lands;
(2)
the encouragement of the production of timber;
(3)
the prevention and control of insects and diseases affecting trees and forests;
(4)
the prevention and control of rural fires;
(5)
the efficient utilization of wood and wood residues, including the recycling of wood fiber;
(6)
the improvement and maintenance of fish and wildlife habitat;
(7)
the planning and conduct of urban forestry programs;
(8)
broadening existing forest management, fire protection, and insect and disease protection programs on non-Federal forest lands to meet the multiple use objectives of landowners in an environmentally sensitive manner;
(9)
providing opportunities to private landowners to protect ecologically valuable and threatened non-Federal forest lands; and
(10)
strengthening educational, technical, and financial assistance programs that provide assistance to owners of non-Federal forest lands in the United States, and forest lands in foreign countries,.3
3
 So in original.
(c)
Priorities
In allocating funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this chapter, the Secretary shall focus on the following national private forest conservation priorities, notwithstanding other priorities specified elsewhere in this chapter:
(1)
Conserving and managing working forest landscapes for multiple values and uses.
(2)
Protecting forests from threats, including catastrophic wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, windstorms, snow or ice storms, flooding, drought, invasive species, insect or disease outbreak, or development, and restoring appropriate forest types in response to such threats.
(3)
Enhancing public benefits from private forests, including air and water quality, soil conservation, biological diversity, carbon storage, forest products, forestry-related jobs, production of renewable energy, wildlife, wildlife corridors and wildlife habitat, and recreation.
(d)
Reporting requirement

Not later than September 30, 2011, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing how funds were used under this chapter, and through other programs administered by the Secretary, to address the national priorities specified in subsection (c) and the outcomes achieved in meeting the national priorities.

(e)
Policy

It is the policy of Congress that it is in the national interest for the Secretary to work through and in cooperation with State foresters, or equivalent State officials, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector in implementing Federal programs affecting non-Federal forest lands.

(f)
Construction

This chapter shall be construed to complement the policies and direction under the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.).

(Pub. L. 95–313, § 2, July 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 365; Pub. L. 101–513, title VI, § 611(b)(1), (2), formerly § 607(b)(1), (2), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 2072, renumbered § 611(b)(1), (2), Pub. L. 102–574, § 2(a)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4593; Pub. L. 101–624, title XII, § 1212, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3521; Pub. L. 110–234, title VIII, § 8001, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1279; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VIII, § 8001, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2041.)
cite as: 16 USC 2101