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Ian MacFarlane, Chair
National Council on Private Forests

Legislative Director
National Association of State Foresters
444 North Capitol St., NW
Washington, DC  20001

(202) 624-5977
Fax (202) 624-5407

LAST UPDATED December 01, 2007

 

MISSION

The National Council on Private Forests [NCPF]  serves as a forum for the principal national organizations and agencies involved in promoting the health and sustainability of privately-owned forests in the United States. NCPF provides its members with opportunities to:

   Share information about the status and future of privately-owned  forests in the US;

   Educate key audiences about the ecological, social and economic importance of privately-owned forests;

   Identify factors that advance or hinder the practice of sustainable forestry on private and tribal lands;

  Assure that the nation’s private forest owners, including those typically underrepresented, have an appropriate vehicle for understanding, assessing and acting together on issues that affect them.

 

 

PRINCIPLES

The members of the NCPF have arrived at the following principles -- rooted in research and affirmed by decades of experience -- that guide its assessment of public issues.

   Federal policy should foster, not inhibit, private and tribal ownership of forests. A heritage of stewardship -- passed through generations -- can be the  bedrock of sustainable forestry.

   Federal policy should respect private property rights. With ownership comes a sense of responsibility and active stewardship. That’s why privately-owned forests represent some of the richest and most diverse forested landscapes in the United States, as well as some of the most productive.

   Education, outreach and technical assistance programs are powerful forces that drive forest owners toward sustainable and sustained forest management. Most private forest owners want to do a better job sustaining their forests -- and would, if they knew how.

   Forest investments are costly, risky and long-term. Returns take decades to produce. Federal policy and programs should provide incentives that attract people to the practice of sustainable forestry.

  At the same time, laws and regulations that impose costly compliance burdens on landowners -- or subject them to the prospect of lawsuits even when they practice sound, sustainable forestry -- create powerful disincentives to ownership. In short, regulations designed to “protect” the environment may produce the opposite effect: forcing owners to get out of forestry, and put their lands into development.

  Sustainably managed working forests produce much more than wood. They take up carbon, shelter diverse wildlife, offer recreation and clean our nation’s waters. Federal policies and programs should foster development of income streams that reward landowners for these social, environmental and community benefits -- without compromising opportunities for environmentally sound timber management.

   Tax policy has a profound impact on forest owners -- not just on their ability to finance and sustain investments in healthy forests, but on their willingness to keep land in trees when faced with burdensome state and local taxes.

  Even though forests appear to grow slowly, they are dynamic ecosystems subject to a wide variety of natural, social and economic forces -- many of which are still not well understood. Over the past 50 years, many advances that benefit private landowners have come from university and agency research programs funded through federal appropriations. The federal government should assure that adequate, sustained funding is available for research that fosters private stewardship of the nation’s forests.

   Wildland fire is a major threat to non-Federal forestlands, and to communities that are adjacent to all wildlands. Federal efforts, begun under the emergency provisions of the 2001 Interior Appropriations Bill, must be continued and institutionalized to mitigate the risks faced by small landowners and residents of the wildland-urban interface.

   Many decisions about land use and forests -- both urban and rural -- are made at the local and state levels. Federal programs should be developed in partnership with and delivered through agencies and organizations strongly rooted in the states and communities.

 

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Contact us: info@ncpf.org

size="4" face="Verdana"> •   Sustainably managed working forests produce much more than wood. They take up carbon, shelter diverse wildlife, offer recreation and clean our nation’s waters. Federal policies and programs should foster development of income streams that reward landowners for these social, environmental and community benefits -- without compromising opportunities for environmentally sound timber management.

   Tax policy has a profound impact on forest owners -- not just on their ability to finance and sustain investments in healthy forests, but on their willingness to keep land in trees when faced with burdensome state and local taxes.

  Even though forests appear to grow slowly, they are dynamic ecosystems subject to a wide variety of natural, social and economic forces -- many of which are still not well understood. Over the past 50 years, many advances that benefit private landowners have come from university and agency research programs funded through federal appropriations. The federal government should assure that adequate, sustained funding is available for research that fosters private stewardship of the nation’s forests.

   Wildland fire is a major threat to non-Federal forestlands, and to communities that are adjacent to all wildlands. Federal efforts, begun under the emergency provisions of the 2001 Interior Appropriations Bill, must be continued and institutionalized to mitigate the risks faced by small landowners and residents of the wildland-urban interface.

   Many decisions about land use and forests -- both urban and rural -- are made at the local and state levels. Federal programs should be developed in partnership with and delivered through agencies and organizations strongly rooted in the states and communities.

 

Go to top of page

Contact us: info@ncpf.org