Forests – with stands of varying ages – account for 67 percent of the state’s total land area. These forest lands are being sustainably managed to meet the numerous needs of our state today, while ensuring resource availability into the future.

Georgia’s Forest Action Plan and subsequent Resource Strategy were initially developed in response to the 2008 Farm Bill. The three consensus-based national priorities with accompanying strategic objectives are:

Conserve working forest landscapes.

  • Identify and conserve high-priority forest ecosystems and landscapes.
  • Actively and sustainably manage forests.

Protect forests from harm.

  • Restore fire-adapted lands and reduce risk of wildfire impacts.
  • Identify, manage and reduce threats to forest and ecosystem health.

Enhance public benefits from trees and forests.

  • Protect and enhance water quality and quantity.
  • Improve air quality and conserve energy.
  • Assist communities in planning for and reducing wildfire risks.
  • Maintain and enhance the economic benefits and values of trees and forests.
  • Protect, conserve and enhance wildlife and fish habitat.
  • Connect people to trees and forests.
  • Manage and restore trees and forests to mitigate and adapt to global climate change.

A Collaborative Process

GFC worked collaboratively with key partners in numerous disciplines, which provided program-specific input for forest health, stewardship, conservation easements, water quality, marketing and utilization, wildfire protection and prevention, sustainable community forestry and wildlife. Forest inventory and analysis (FIA) data served as a basis for current forest data. As the assessment and strategies were developed, they incorporated major plans already in place such as the State Wildlife Action Plan, Community Wildfire Protection Plan and the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment. This allowed seamless integration with existing statewide efforts already underway in Georgia.

GFC contracted with the University of Georgia to develop geospatial data layers used to identify priority areas. Issues identified in the 2008 Forest Management Sustainability Report will be used as the foundation for strategy development.

The Forest Action Plan was submitted to the US Forest Service in June 2010. Thanks to everyone involved in the process of creating this document.

Key Partners

GFC worked with key partners and stakeholders to develop Georgia’s Forest Assessment & Strategy. These include:

Forest Health

  • University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Entomology
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Georgia Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Forest Service

Water Quality

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division
  • University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division
  • Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
  • Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission
  • Georgia Department of Agriculture
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
  • Georgia Sustainable Forestry Initiative Committee Association of Consulting Foresters
  • Southeastern Wood Producers Association

Sustainable Community Forestry Program

  • Alliance for Community Trees
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (Georgia Chapter)
  • Arborguard Tree Specialists
  • Association of County Commissioners of Georgia
  • Athens-Clarke County Landscape Division
  • Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Barneycastle Forestry Services
  • Better Hometown Program of the Department of Community Affairs
  • Emory University
  • Fort Benning
  • Georgia Arborists Association
  • Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program
  • Georgia Department of Transportation
  • Georgia Green Industry Association
  • Georgia Land Trust
  • Georgia Municipal Association
  • Georgia Power Corporation
  • Georgia State University, Historic Preservation
  • Georgia Urban Forest Council
  • Greater Atlanta Homebuilders
  • International Society of Arboriculture
  • Keep Georgia Beautiful
  • Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association
  • Moons Tree Farm
  • Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Laboratory at the University of Georgia
  • Northeast Georgia Resource Development Council
  • Manning, Selvage & Lee
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Rolling Hills Resources Conservation & Development
  • Savannah Tree Foundation
  • Sierra Club
  • Southern Nursery Association
  • Sustaining Urban Villages
  • Trees Atlanta
  • Trees Columbus
  • Technical Forestry Services
  • The Home Depot Foundation
  • University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture
  • University of Georgia Center for Community Design & Preservation
  • University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources
  • Upper Chattahoochee RiverKeeper, U.S. Forest Service

Utilization and Marketing

  • U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station FIA Section
  • U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station and Forest Products Lab
  • Georgia Tech Economic Development and Research Corporation
  • University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Timber Processing Magazine
  • Georgia Department of Revenue
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Georgia Ports Authority

Fire Management

  • National Wildfire Coordinating Group Membership
  • Georgia Prescribed Fire Council
  • Georgia Forestry Commission Forest Protection Staff
  • Georgia/Florida Prescribed Fire Strategic Plan Working Group
  • Georgia’s Type II Incident Management Team

Stewardship and Conservation
State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee members including:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Forest Service
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • The Conservation Fund
  • University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Wildlife

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division

Georgia's Sustainability Report

Due to population growth projections and the potential effects on forest resources, the 2005 Georgia General Assembly created a joint “Future of Forestry” study committee. The committee was charged to prepare a comprehensive plan for Georgia to sustain and expand the benefits of its 24+ million acres of forest land and forest products industry.

One of the primary recommendations of the report was for the state to investigate the benefits of developing a procedure to allow for “sustainable forest” labeling to be placed on Georgia forest products. The committee also directed GFC to certify to the General Assembly the sustainability of the state’s forest resources through a report every five years. Subsequently, the 2007 General Assembly required GFC to verify this sustainability, which is defined as the ability of the forest resources in this state to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of the future. With the assistance of many individuals from a number of organizations, the initial report was submitted to the General Assembly on July 1, 2008.

The report found that the state’s forests are currently being sustainably managed. To ensure our forests will continue to meet the ever increasing demands of future generations, many challenges must be met. Success will depend on proactive decisions by our state leaders and the entire forestry community addressing a myriad of forestry-related issues such as urban sprawl, ownership and management objective change, forest land valuations, economics of traditional and emerging forest markets, water quality and quantity, air quality, biodiversity, fire management, forest health and forest land conservation.
View the Report


Helpful Resources

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
Farm Bill (2008)External Website
Forest Action Plan – GA Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources (2010)

Georgia’s 24 million acres of forest land are a rich and renewable resource that provide a myriad of benefits to citizens across the state. This Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources addresses the conditions and issues at hand today, and prioritize concerns for the near and distant future.

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Forest Action Plan – GA Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources (2015)

Georgia’s 24 million acres of forest land are a rich and renewable resource that provide a myriad of benefits to citizens across the state. This updated Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources addresses the conditions and issues at hand today, and prioritize concerns for the near and distant future.

PDF
Forest Action Plan – Georgia Statewide Forest Resources Strategy (2015)

In 2008, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) implemented a “Redesigned” State and Private Forestry (S&PF) Program. It was created in response to the impacts of increasing pressures on our nation’s forests and decreasing S&PF funding and resources. In accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill, Georgia completed a State Assessment and Resource Strategy in 2010 in order to continue to receive funding under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act. This analysis examines forest conditions and trends to identify priority landscapes for the Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources. Based on the Assessment, this Statewide Forest Resources Strategy was composed to serve as the foundation for formulating S&PF competitive project proposals and to guide program direction.

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Forest Industry & Analysis (FIA) – National ProgramExternal Website
Sustainable Forest Management in Georgia (2008)

Georgia’s forests are being sustainably managed to meet the numerous needs of our state today. To ensure our forests will continue to meet the ever increasing demands of future generations, many challenges must be met. This initial report, submitted to the General Assembly on July 1, 2008, highlights the conditions of our forest resources, along with the challenges and opportunities being faced by Georgia’s forest managers and owners.

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