Governor Matt Mead created the Task Force on Forests in 2013 to study the benefits forests provide and to analyze and consider new response strategies and recommendations for both active and passive management. The Forest Task Force reached consensus on 12 major recommendations comprising 53 sub-recommendations, for the Governor’s consideration.
Approximately 19 percent of Wyoming’s land area, or about 11.8 million acres is forested. Wyoming’s forests provide clean water and air, wood products, habitat for wildlife and other biota, and places for recreation and spiritual reflection
However, Wyoming is facing unprecedented disturbances of its forestland (e.g. bark beetle, white pine blister rust, forest fires, invasive species, and drought) that are both widespread and acute. The impacts of these disturbances are broad ranging and limit the ways we are able to use and enjoy our forests, inhibit sustained yields of forest resources, pose a threat to housing and infrastructure at the wildland-urban interface, and degrade wildlife habitat and water quality.
In tandem with the impacts of drought, wildfire, and disease is our increasingly limited ability to apply effective management strategies for restoring our forests. The forest products industry in Wyoming has been steadily downsizing over the past three decades. A viable forest products industry plays an important role in the methods that we can use to restore and enhance forest conditions.
The well-being of Wyoming’s forests requires a coordinated approach to management. Cognizant of the need to better understand the impacts that have resulted from the beetle epidemic and to identify collaborative solutions to some of the problems caused by those impacts, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead formed the Governor’s Task Force on Forests in 2013.
Sen. Ogden Driskill
Lisa McGee, Co-chair
Jim Neiman, Co-chair
Rep. Jerry Paxton
National Outdoor Leadership School
Sublette County Board of County Commissioners
Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region
Wyoming State Forestry Division
Wyoming Governor's Office
Wyoming State Senate
Department of Agriculture
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Wyoming Water Development Office
Larson Livestock, Inc.
Wyoming Stock Growers Association
Wyoming Outdoor Council
Neiman Enterprises, Inc.
Wyoming House of Representatives
Dubois-Crowheart Conservation District
University of Wyoming, Department of Botany
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
One of the recommendations in the Final Report of the Governor's Task Force on Forests Final Report was a Forest Collaborative Assistance Program, or FCAP—a program to help kick start collaborative problem solving processes on issues related to forest management and conservation.
The Wyoming Legislature funded the FCAP and Wyoming State Forestry is coordinating this effort. Groups may apply for up to $10,000 for any relevant costs associated with starting or continuing ongoing collaboration (facilitator, coordinator, travel costs for group members, field tours, meeting supplies, meeting room rental, etc).
The Wyoming State Forestry Division is seeking funding proposals through Sept 24, 2015, from people who want to form a collaborative group of stakeholders representing a diversity of interests to design and implement projects and programs that address the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Forests.
The FCAP will fund collaborative projects and programs that seek to accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
Reduce the threat and occurrence of destructive wildfires in the wildland-urban interface;
Control non-native plants, wildlife and insects;
Maintain and enhance important wildlife corridors and habitats and other preservation and conservation opportunities;
Make available and enhance a sustainable supply of wood and biomass consistent with sound management;
Enhance sound grazing practices in forested lands;
Expand recreation programs and frameworks to support Wyoming's travel and tourism sector and the outdoor recreation economy;
Other activities that enhance the resiliency and sustainability of Wyoming's forests.
Contact Carson Engelskirger for more information.
Forestry Outreach Coordinator
Wyoming State Forestry Division