The Farm Bill’s Title VIII: Forestry addresses forestry assistance, especially on private lands. “Many federal forestry assistane programs are already permanently authorized, and thus do not require reauthorization in the farm bill.”[1] However, the 2014 Farm Bill permanently authorizes two additional components: an expansion of Stewardship Contracting Authority and the Good Neighbor Authority.  Both are “tools the Forest Service uses to conduct restoration and other forest management projects.”[2] Stewardship Contracting Authority permits the Forest Service to incorporate conservation and restoration goals and requirements into contracts with other entities, allowing for the completion of management goals while meeting the needs of rural and local communities.  The Good Neighbor Authority “allows the Forest Service to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with States and Puerto Rico to allow the States to perform watershed restoration and forest management services on National Forest System lands.”[3]  The 2014 Farm Bill permanently authorized this program and excluded certain activities, such as construction, reconstruction, or restoration of paved or permanent roads, parking areas, or public buildings, as well as projects in wilderness areas.[3]  For more information regarding the Good Neighbor Authority, see here.

Stewardship End Result Contracting allows the Forest Service to enter into dual service and timber sale contracts for up to 10 years to achieve certain land management goals. The Forest Service states that this “helps achieve land management goals while meeting local and rural community needs, including contributing to the sustainability of rural communities and providing a continuing source of local income and employment.” [4]

In addition, the 2014 Farm Bill adopts a provision authorizing the designation of treatment areas within the National Forest System where expedited project planning will be allowed due to insect or disease infestation.[1]

[1] Chite, Ralph. The 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79): Summary and Side-by-Side, Congressional Research Service.

[2] Hoover, Katie. Forestry Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill (P.L 113-79), Congressional Research Service.

[3] Forest Service. “Good Neighbor Authority,” USDA.

[4] Forest Service. “Stewardship End Result Contracting,” USDA.