While Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) focuses much effort on working with private landowners and their forestland, DOF also has a role in assisting with forest management on federally-owned lands through cooperative agreements.
Good Neighbor Authority
First authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) allows states to utilize state contracts to carry out forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services on both USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress expanded its authorities to allow counties and tribes to enter into GNA agreements. Through GNA, states are able to add capacity to the federal government to increase the amount of work collectively accomplished on federal ground.
Benefits of Working Together
- Revenue generated from timber harvest projects can be utilized for planning, preparation, and implementation of needed restoration activities on federal lands.
- Adds capacity to the federal workforce by integrating state staff and resources in a cooperative effort to analyze and treat more acres.
- Efficiency is gained by utilizing state procurement procedures. The DOF uses its state contracts to procure restoration work and sell timber on federal forested lands.
- Allows flexibility in funding projects using USDA Forest Service, state, and third party contributions to perform work collaboratively.
- Program revenue is retained by the state to pay for state GNA work and to fund future restoration work.
DOF entered into its first GNA agreement with the USDA Forest Service in 2018-19 called the Round Mountain West GNA, located on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Eastern Divide Ranger District in Bland County.
The state and the USDA Forest Service entered into this agreement as a cooperative effort to perform forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services including activities on and off National Forest lands to treat insect and disease infected trees, activities to reduce hazardous fuels, and any other activities to restore or improve forest, rangeland, and watershed health including fish and wildlife habitat.
Find timber sales or other bid opportunities offered on federally-owned lands.