Highlights Cooperative Approach to Land Management
(USDA) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue joined Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to sign a Shared Stewardship agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the State of Georgia. The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.
“Shared Stewardship offers a great opportunity to coordinate and prioritize land management activities in tandem,” said Secretary Perdue. “The USDA and its agencies have a long and strong history of collaboration with the State of Georgia and this agreement will make that working relationship even stronger. I thank Governor Kemp for being a great partner in ensuring Georgia’s forests are properly managed.”
“I am grateful to Secretary Perdue and the U.S Department of Agriculture for their partnership in the Shared Stewardship agreement, and I look forward to working with our federal partners to prepare for future land management challenges,” said Governor Kemp. “Together, we will ensure Georgia’s natural resources are preserved and protected for generations to come.”
The Shared Stewardship agreement strengthens the commitment between federal and state agencies to work together to accomplish mutual natural resource management goals, further common interests, and effectively respond to the increasing ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in Georgia. Specifically, the agreement establishes a framework for collaboration between USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Forestry Commission.
In addition to providing a framework for how the federal and state agencies will work together, the agreement also outlines the importance of ensuring meaningful participation from state and local partners such as Georgia’s State Parks, Georgia Department of Transportation, Conservation Districts, and non-governmental conservation organizations.
Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Vicki Christiansen, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams, Georgia Forestry Commission State Forester Chuck Williams, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison joined Secretary Perdue and Governor Kemp at the ceremony.
The agreement can be read here.