Thursday, the State of Texas and USDA Forest Service signed a historic agreement that formalizes the framework for a collaborative response between state and federal agencies responding to wildfires, natural resource concerns, and ecological challenges in Texas.
The Shared Stewardship Agreement was signed into effect at the Texas State Capitol by Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Texas is the 15th state to implement a Shared Stewardship response framework.
The agreement focuses on how federal entities and state forestry agencies collectively approach land and fire management and propose cooperatively setting landscape-scale forest restoration activities that protect at-risk communities and watersheds across the state.
“Shared stewardship may be a new name for cooperative partnerships, but in Texas, we’ve been doing shared stewardship a long time,” said Texas State Forester and Director of Texas A&M Forest Service Tom Boggus. “Texas A&M Forest Service has a call to serve, a duty to protect, and, most of all, a practice of building partnerships and coalitions with other organizations that share our agency’s mission because we know we are stronger together.”
Fulfilling the service component of the Texas A&M University land-grant system, Texas A&M Forest Service enters into this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the USDA Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“Today’s a good day,” said Boggus. “This MOU will help strengthen the partnerships in this state most vital to protecting lives and property from wildfire and ensuring the health, resiliency, and productivity of Texas’ forests.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Shared Stewardship Strategy https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/toward-shared-stewardship.pdf.
Toward Shared Stewardship Strategy (state complement to the federal plan) https://www.stateforesters.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/NASF_SSCD_final-spreads.pdf.
Examples of U.S. South state forestry agencies practicing the foundational concepts of Shared Stewardship, https://www.southernforests.org/fire/implementing-shared-stewardship-a-collection-of-cohesive-strategy-success-stories-from-across-the-south/?searchterm=shared.
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office, 979-458-6606, email@example.com