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Good Neighbor agreement to boost forest work

The Idaho Department of Lands and Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are drafting the state’s first Good Neighbor Authority Agreement for a specific project. Under the agreement, which is anticipated this summer, IDL will run a timber salvage sale project in North Central Idaho to assist the Forest Service.

IDL will sell the timber and administer the forest restoration project in the fall. Excess revenues from the project will be held in a Good Neighbor Authority dedicated account to do more cooperative work on federal lands in future projects.

The start-up phase requires financial commitments from the state and federal partners as well as private industry.

“The Forest Service contribution will pay for a program manager, forester and grants/contracts analyst as well as some contractor field preparation costs for a three- to five-year period,” Idaho State Forester David Groeschl said.

Idaho’s part is in the form of administration and in-kind services by IDL staff and budget authority approved by the Idaho Legislature earlier this year. The forest industry contribution will cover one-time capital outlay costs (laptops, vehicles, radios, etc.) in the first year, along with ongoing funds to help cover contractor fees.

The program performance will be evaluated in three years to determine if the initial investment is worthwhile. Anticipated results include more acres treated to improve forest and watershed health, more timber volume made available to Idaho markets, and stable finances.


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