Illinois Forestry Assistance Programs
for Forestry Assistance Form
Background: The forests of Illinois contribute greatly
to our economy and provide the ecological systems and visual landscapes
essential to our quality of life. Historically, demands for raw
materials (i.e., wood, land for development, etc.) have competed
with the need to protect and conserve natural resources. Meeting
these diverse needs on a sustained basis without sacrificing the
integrity and the productive capacity of our forests is the challenge
facing the owners and managers of Illinois' forests.
Over the next 25 years wood demand is forecasted to rise about
25 percent. This problem of increasing demand is being compounded
by the reduction of harvest from federal forest lands. This is causing
the demand for wood products to shift to non-industrial private
forest (NIPF) lands. Over 90 percent of the 4.26 million acres of
Illinois forest land is owned by private landowners. Of these landowners,
over 80 percent have never received professional forestry management
Illinois, in spite of the field forestry staff available through
programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the
record number of private consultant foresters, is faced with a dilemma
in attempting to provide forest management assistance to the over
169,000 forest landowners. Various programs have been developed
at the state and federal level that are designed to provide management
assistance to forest landowners, industry and fire departments.
Another important and often overlooked forest resource in Illinois
is the State's urban and community forests. These are the trees
and related natural resources found in the State's 2,000 plus communities.
These forests provide important benefits to the communities were
over 80 percent of our population lives, works, and plays.
Forest Product Industries are an important part of the State's
economy. These privately owned primary and secondary operations
employ over 65,000 people, have an annual payroll of approximately
$1.9 million, and contribute over $4.5 billion annually to the State's
economy through value added by manufacturing.
Goals: The goals of forestry programs in Illinois are to
maintain and improve the State's rural and urban forests, and enable
forests to remain as an important component in the ecological processes
that sustain the State's valuable natural resources and economy.
These goals and private landowner objectives will be accomplished
by using non-regulatory approaches and voluntary participation.
Rural Forest Landowner Assistance: Provides technical assistance
to NIPF landowners to manage their forests for multiple resources.
In addition, cost-share assistance is available for landowners to
implement forest stewardship practices.
This program has been developed to assist and encourage landowners
to become good land stewards, achieve land management objectives,
and maintain ecological processes.
The program produces:
air and water
- enhanced wildlife habitat and populations.
Urban and Community Forestry: Provides technical and financial
assistance to the State's 2,000 cities and towns. This program builds
a local community's capacity to manage their natural resources.
Program goals are accomplished by engaging local citizens in tree
planting, care and protection activities, and the development of
comprehensive natural resource management plans. The Urban and Community
Forestry Program helps achieve community sustainability and enhances
the quality of life by improving and maintaining the health of trees
and other related natural resources.
The Urban and Community Forestry Program:
awareness of natural resources
partnerships to manage community natural resources
- implements long-term natural resource management in the State's
cities and towns.
Nursery Operations: The production and availability of
high quality, native plant material is essential for reforestation
and habitat restoration efforts. This program provides landowners
suitable plant materials, often at no-cost, to meet their land management
objectives. Available plant materials range from tree and shrub
species to prairie grasses and forb species.
Forest Protection and Health Management: Provides technical
and financial assistance to rural fire departments to protect natural
resources from wildfires. Assistance is provide through direct technical
support; grants for organization, training, and equipment; and placement
of fire equipment obtained through the Federal Excess Property Program.
The program utilizes the Smokey Bear Fire Program to promote forest
In addition, the program provides technical and financial assistance
to protect forests against the introduction of exotic insects and
diseases, and cooperates with state and federal organizations on
long-term monitoring of forest health conditions.
Forest Products Industry Assistance: Provides assistance
to forest industries by providing:
Forestry Development Act (FDA): Provides the funding source
for a forest landowner cost-share program. This program is funded
through the collection of a four (4) percent harvest fee on all
timber sales. These funds are only available for the cost-share
program and the operations of the Illinois Legislature's Council
on forestry Development.
*The Council gathers and disseminates information on the State's
forest resources and industries, and makes recommendations on appropriate
forest management practices.
- timber, lumber and forest-based herbal product marketing information,
- forest resource information for potential new forest industries,
- recommendations regarding improved operating techniques.
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