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Landscape Architect Articles
US Forest Service Reflects on 2023 Highlights01-31-24 | Association News

US Forest Service Reflects on 2023 Highlights

Organization Reports Landmark Investments and Achievements
by Staff

The U.S. Forest Service released a report reflecting on the achievements and investment they made during 2023.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service recently release a year-in-review report highlighting the various achievements and initiatives that defined their 2023. Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Dr. Homer Wilkes, defined 2023 as a year of remarkable growth and achievements, emphasizing collaborative efforts to combat climate change, enhance wildfire risk reduction, and foster equity in access to green spaces.

The Forest Service's strategic investments in 2023 aimed to fortify communities, lands, and waters against climate change and wildfire impacts. Notable initiatives include expanding the agency's 10-Year Strategy to Confront the Wildfire Crisis, strengthening relationships with Indian Tribes, and supporting local economies.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore acknowledged the dedicated work of employees and partners, underscoring the significance of their efforts in confronting the wildfire crisis and delivering groundbreaking science.

The agency's focus on addressing threats from wildfire and climate change resulted in a comprehensive strategy, building on the 10-Year Wildfire Crisis Strategy launched in 2022. Emergency authorities were announced, along with an additional $490 million in funding to accelerate forest health treatments, leading to treatments across 750,000 acres and completing hazardous fuels work on over 4.3 million acres in fiscal year 2023.

The Forest Service also allocated $250 million through the Urban and Community Forestry Program, with historic grants benefiting disadvantaged communities. A tribal action plan was introduced, the Office of Tribal Relations was doubled in size, and $100 million was committed to enhance co-stewardship with tribes.

The Forest Service also took measures to assist in economic relief for federal wildland firefighters, providing $381 million in supplemental payments and co-developing a budget proposal for FY2024 to authorize permanently increased pay.

Innovations and impacts included over 1,100 peer-reviewed publications from the Forest Service's scientific community, the establishment of a National Post-Disaster Recovery team, and investments through the Legacy Restoration Fund addressing deferred maintenance and enhancing outdoor recreation.



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