Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding.
“Today’s announcement by the USDA is much needed. Arizona has been the epicenter of the fire season so far this year and action is needed to prevent this from being the case going forward. This shared stewardship agreement will allow the Forest Service and the State of Arizona to work more closely together to identify fire prone areas and take necessary actions to prevent catastrophic fire, while also improving overall forest health. We are blessed in Arizona to have some of the most beautiful forests in the world, today’s announcement will help to ensure that remains the case for generations to come,” said Congressman Gosar.
“This Memorandum of Understanding strengthens the already strong partnership between the Forest Service and the State of Arizona. Through Shared Stewardship, Arizona and the Forest Service are working together to identify landscape-scale priorities and build capacity to improve forest conditions,” said Secretary Perdue.
“In Arizona we know addressing the threat of wildfire is a team effort that requires constant collaboration across local, state, and federal levels. The mutual commitments outlined in today's Memorandum of Understanding will further these key partnerships — making Arizona communities better protected against catastrophic wildfires. My sincere thanks to Secretary Perdue for his continued partnership with Arizona and dedication to responsible forest management,” said Governor Ducey.
Background courtesy of the USDA:
Arizona's Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding would help accelerate the pace and scale of projects like the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) that protect communities from wildfire and create healthy, resilient landscapes.
The Memorandum of Understanding is the latest addition to the collaborative restoration and wildfire risk reduction efforts between the Forest Service and the state of Arizona and it follows the outcome-based investment strategy the Forests Service began implementing in 2018.
Arizona is the 14th state to agree to a Shared Stewardship framework, which uses a modern and collaborative approach to focus on landscape-scale forest restoration activities that protect at-risk communities and watersheds across all lands. The Memorandum of Understanding with Arizona focuses on restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and reducing the risk of wildfire to communities; identifying, managing, and reducing threats to forest and ecosystem health; and fostering economic development strategies that keep working forests productive.