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State Forestry Division releases 2020 Forest Action Plan

One of Wyoming's many forests.
One of Wyoming's many forests.(Will Thomas)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:04 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Press Release) - Wyoming State Forestry Division has completed and released the Wyoming 2020 Forest Action Plan. This guiding document provides an assessment of Wyoming’s natural resources, bringing to light the state’s forest resources, trends, threats, and opportunities. The document’s assessment portion provides an overview of Wyoming’s forest resources, critical forest and fire management plans, and initiatives. It also provides an assessment and geospatial analysis of priority area landscapes and forest resources throughout Wyoming, including wildfire risk, development risk, forest fragmentation, forest health, fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and supply, the economic potential of working and mill demand forests, green infrastructure, community forestry, and rural forestry assistance potential. The Wyoming Forest Action plan’s strategy portion provides details on specific actions to address threats to Wyoming’s natural resources, areas of opportunity, monitoring, and revision. It also denotes the importance of cross-boundary and inter-state collaboration.

The 2020 Wyoming Forest Action Plan discusses forest health issues that continue to impact areas across the state. Widespread tree mortality has been prevalent due to the Bark Beetle epidemic, defoliator, and disease pressure combined with detrimental forest stand conditions. Wildfires continue to be a threat inside and outside the wildland urban interface (WUI) across the state. Some landscapes are no longer within normal fire regimes or fire return intervals, resulting in effective fire suppression, limited forest management, and climatic factors. A viable forest products industry is essential to ensure effective forest management. The forest products industry in Wyoming has been shrinking for some time in terms of the number of mills. The Wyoming Forest Action Plan also notes a decline in riparian forests, challenges within community forestry, and the importance of water quality protection.

A digital copy of the Wyoming Forest Action Plan can be accessed here: https://wsfd.wyo.gov/forestmanagement/Forest-Action-Plan . Wyoming State Forestry Division would like to thank all of the individuals who participated in the planning meetings and offered feedback throughout the process. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our local, state, and federal partners to protect and enhance Wyoming’s natural resources and forests for years to come.

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