Shared Stewardship in the Southern Region of the USFS

Welcome to the USFS Region 8 Shared Stewardship Gateway!

"Shared Stewardship offers a great opportunity to coordinate and prioritize land management activities in tandem," said Jim Hubbard, USDA Under Secretary. 

With 245 million acres of forestland in the South, and 86% of it privately owned, the Southern Region of the Forest Service has a rich history working with partners to accomplish cross-boundary landscape level restoration and conservation objectives. 

Shared Stewardship is a mind-set that gives us an opportunity to redouble our efforts, engage additional conservation and restoration partners, and produce mutually beneficial outcomes across the landscape regardless of land ownership class.

The Southern Region will integrate current and future restoration strategies with elements of the National Cohesive Strategy for Wildland Fire Management – Southeast Regional Action Plan, State Forest and Wildlife Action Plans, the Keeping Forests and Forests Partnership, and National Forest Land Management Plans, in addition to other relevant conservation and restoration plans, to leverage resources for collective impact. 

The expectation is that our collective effort will produce results that far exceed what any one agency or organization could accomplish alone.  We will continue to move toward shared priorities and address shared risks by:
  • Capitalizing on authorities created by recent legislation such as 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills and the 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
  • Leveraging new technologies and science to inform plan to conduct target investment planning across administrative boundaries.
  • Improving Forest Service internal processes that inform environmental analysis and decision making. 
Successful outcomes of an integrated Shared Stewardship framework in the South include:
  • Signed, high level agreements of intent with states and other stakeholders which lead to improved forest conditions. 
  • Improved working relationships with State, Federal, NGOs, and other stakeholders.  Key indicator - number of joint planning meetings to discuss mutual programs of work.
The Southern Region currently has agreements signed in 8 states:
For more information, please visit the USFS website.