Forest Service Dedicates Funds to Support 50th Community Education Events

May 2013: The Forest Service's agency 50th team is exploring how the Forest Service can tell its wilderness story and specifically how it can assist employees in the field with their endeavors. To help meet this need, the Forest Service is committing approximately $365,000 of National Forest System fiscal year (FY) 13 carryover funds to the field to develop and implement activities and projects that celebrate not only the past 50 years of wilderness preservation but the next 50 years. Each Region will be allocated $43,000; except Region 10 who will receive $21,457. Regions will determine how to best to use and distribute these funds; some will distribute even amounts to each forest; others will fund based on project requests. The funds, however, must be allocated in FY13 for specific activities, projects, and events that engage wilderness partners, Tribes and/or local communities.

As such, the time is ripe for state 50th coalitions to contact their Forest Service partners to ensure that the funds available go to support project and events that are being planned and have input from a diverse groups of community stakeholders. Contact the local Forest Service office with project ideas or contact your Forest Service Region's Wilderness Program Manager: Steve Kimball (R1), Ralph Swain (R2), Diane Taliaferro (R3), Christina Boston (R5), Lisa Machnik (R6), Jimmy Gaudry (R8), John Romanowski (R9), Lynn Humphrey (R10).

To ensure accountability, each region will be required to submit an accomplishment report in a standardized format to the Washington Office by December 31, 2013. The information submitted will be assembled and used to help tell the Forest Service wilderness legacy story.