By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed a new agreement Tuesday between the U.S. Forest Service and the state to promote forest management and respond to ecological challenges.
Under the “Shared Stewardship Agreement,” Wyoming and the USDA will work together on forest and grassland restoration across both federal and state lands, with a focus on protecting at-risk communities and watersheds from wildfire.
“I am excited to sign this agreement today with Secretary Perdue. It marks an increased opportunity for us to combine expertise and resources, better our national forests and grasslands, and serve all of the citizens of Wyoming,” Gordon said in a news release. “The importance of our national forest system lands, to our communities, for water, for businesses like logging and agriculture, and just for general enjoyment cannot be understated. I applaud the efforts to date and am genuinely excited to see what we can do together in the future.”
The agreement calls for federal and state agencies to take part in joint planning, the pooling of resources and continued investment in existing partnerships and programs that support collaborative work.
“This agreement strengthens the already strong partnership between the Forest Service and the State of Wyoming,” Perdue said in a news release. “Through Shared Stewardship, Wyoming and the Forest Service will work together to identify landscape-scale priorities and build capacity to improve forest conditions.”