The Nature Conservancy Thanks Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Letter with Others from Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition

Arlington, Virginia | March 15, 2012

The Nature Conservancy has signed a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack thanking him for his support of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration program (CFLR). In 2012 twenty forest restoration sites were chosen to receive investment, along with three non-CFLR sites.

In the first two years of this program have accomplished the following results at 10 project sites:

  • 228,300,000: board feet of timber produced
  • 80,000,000: dollars of labor income generated
  • 233,184: acres of wildlife habitat restored and enhanced
  • 167,133: acres of overgrown trees removed to protect communities
  • 109,536: acres of wildland with reduced risk of damaging wildfire
  • 11,393: acres of weeds removed
  • 2,100: direct and indirect jobs maintained or created
  • 198: miles of road improved to prevent damage to water sources
  • 80: miles of unused roads decommissioned
  • 66: miles of streams restored 
Read the Letter:

March 2, 2012
Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary, USDA Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington DC, 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:

The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Coalition would like to thank the Administration and the USDA Forest Service for your strong support of the CFLR Program. The CFLR Coalition is comprised of local, regional, and national level stakeholders from diverse backgrounds who are interested in the common principle of landscape scale, science-based forest restoration. We are grateful the Administration shares the goal of full federal funding for, and successful implementation of, the CFLR program.

We are thrilled to see that 10 new CFLR plus three additional projects were selected for funding in 2012. The reaction to your announcement has been extremely positive. The federal investment in these landscapes is touching many people, from rural residents who are encouraged that their forests will be restored, to urban interests who care about forests, and the excitement is palpable.

The CFLR Coalition was formed one year ago to support the growth and success of CFLR as the program encourages balanced ecological, economic, and social sustainability while reducing wildfire risk, encouraging utilization of forest products, and facilitating collaboration at the local level. In our first year, we have grown to 145 member organizations from 23 states. The Coalition membership is very interested in working with the Administration and Congress to build upon the progress of CFLR. Last year, we developed and published the first CFLR Annual Report that was, and continues to be, distributed throughout Washington DC, to SAF Accredited Forestry Programs, and across the country.

The report served to raise awareness of collaborative restoration as a win-win solution that provides jobs, restores forests, protects water supplies, and engages people in management of the public lands.

We would also like to thank the Administration for proposing to fully fund CFLR in the FY2013 President’s Budget Request. Programs such as CFLR are exactly the kind of strategic investments we need to be making in the restoration of our National Forests and we appreciate your continued support.


Scott Steen
Chief Executive Officer
American Forests

Peter Nelson
Federal Lands Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife

Craig Rawlings
President & CEO
Forest Business Network

Mark Burget
Director, North America Region
The Nature Conservancy

Michael Goergen
Executive Director
Society of American Foresters

Alan Rowesome
Director of Conservation Finance
The Wilderness Society

James Earl Kennamer
Chief Conservation Officer
National Wild Turkey Federation

Holly Endersby
Conservation Director
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Darin Schroeder
Vice President of Conservation Advocacy
American Bird Conservancy

Darrel L Kenops
CEO/Executive Director
National Association of Forest Service Retirees

Michael DeBonis
Executive Director
Forest Guild

Bruce Ward
Executive Director
Choose Outdoors

Nick Prough
Chief Wildlife Biologist
Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation

Steve Moyer
Vice President for Government Affairs
Trout Unlimited

John Heissenbuttel
Phoenix Strategic Solutions, Inc.


Mark Shelley
Executive Director
Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition

Rhett Johnson
Executive Director
Longleaf Alliance

Maia Enzer
Policy Director
Sustainable Northwest

Greg Costello
Executive Director
Western Environmental Law Center


Charles A. Holmes
Chairman, Forestry Committee
National Association of Conservation Districts

Dr. Salem G. Saloom
Forest Landowner
Evergreen, Alabama


Andrew Thoms
Executive Director
Sitka Conservation Society


Wayne Shewmake
Arkansas Wildlife Federation

Karen Smith
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

Jim Crouch
Executive Director
Ouachita Timber Producers Group

Ellen Fennell
Executive Director
Audubon Arkansas

Ricky Chastain
Deputy Director
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission


Tom Mackin
Arizona Wildlife Federation

Marcus Selig
Arizona Forest Conservation Program Manager
Grand Canyon Trust

Sue Sitko
White Mountains Land Trust

Pascal Berlioux
President & CEO
Arizona Forest Restoration Products Inc.

Billie Hughes
Broadband Leader, Nutrioso
Great Old Broads

Mike Cooley
Pioneer Forest Products

Don Berry
White Mountain Stewardship Contract Multi-Party Monitoring Board


Chris Wright
Executive Director
Foothill Conservancy

Craig Thomas
Executive Director
Sierra Forest Legacy

Todd Sloat
Watershed Coordinator
Fall River Resource Conservation District

Joe Studenicka
Chief Financial Officer
Save Burney Falls

Patricia Puterbaugh
Lassen Forest Preservation Group

Pam Giacomini
Hat Creek Grown

Peter D. Johnson
Fall River Resource Conservation District

Suzette Ariza
Board of Directors, President
Calaveras Healthy Impact Products Solutions, Inc. (CHIPS)

Susan McMorris
Blue Mountain Community Renewal Council

Cathy M. Koos Breazeal
Executive Director
Amador Fire Safe Council

John B. Hofmann
Hofmann Consulting

Elena Knox
Board Member
Amador Fire Safe Council

Christopher Post
Battalion Chief

Robert Smith
Vice President
Smith's Grinding


David Oettinger
Forestry Division Manager
Anchor Point

Don Kennedy
Environmental Scientist
Denver Water

Tom Mainwaring
Main Land Planning, Inc

Jim Free
UP Coordinator
Uncompahgre Partnership

Morgan Williams
Biochar Solutions Inc

Carol Ekarius
Executive Director
Coalition for the Upper South Platte

Richard J. Dziomba
Blue Knight Group

Jim Ventrello
Board President


Lane Green
Executive Director
Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy


Dr. Lindsay Boring
Jones Ecological Research Center


Dale Harris
Clearwater Basin Collaborative

Bill Higgins
Resource Manager
Idaho Forest Group, LLC

Rick Tholen
Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership

Dennis L. Murphy
Managing Partner
Spatial Interest, LLC

Bill Sedivy
Executive Director
Idaho Rivers United

Joyce Dearstyne
Executive Director
Framing Our Community, Inc.


Charles R. Burwick
Missouri Birds Conservation Initiative


Kenneth Barber
Executive Director
Clearwater Resource Council

Anne Dahl
Swan Ecosystem Center

Jim Stone
Board Chair
Blackfoot Challenge

Brian Sybert
Executive Director
Montana Wilderness Association

Carol Daly
Flathead Economic Policy Center

New Mexico

G. Matthew Allen
Chief Executive Officer
Mt. Taylor Machine, LLC

Barbara Garrity
Executive Director
Environmental Education Association of New Mexico

Ben Thomas
Field Program Director
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Andrew Egan
New Mexico forest and Watershed Restoration Institute

Brent Racher
Restoration Solutions, LLC

Douglas W. Decker
County Attorney
McKinley County

Eliza I. Gilbert
Aquatic Recovery Coordinator
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

North Carolina

Bob Gale
Ecologist & Public Lands Director
Western North Carolina Alliance

Ben Prater
Associate Executive Director
Wild South

Ryan Jacobs
Assistant Wildlife Forester
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Susie Hamrick Jones
Executive Director
Foothills Conservancy of NC


Mike Steinmaus
Watershed Coordinator
Monday Creek Restoration Project (Rural Action)


Susan Jane Brown
Operations Committee
Blue Mountains Forest Partners

James K. Walls
Executive Director
Lake County Resources Initiative

Jack Shipley
Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council

Dan Shoun
County Commissioner
Lake County

Phil Chang
Natural Resources Program Administrator
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council

Thomas Atzet, PhD
Atzet Ecological Consulting

Mike Billman
Timber Manager
Malheur Lumber Company

Alan Unger, Tony DeBone, Tammy Baney
Board of County Commissioners
Deschutes County

Cassandra Moseley
Ecosystem Workforce Program


Ken Smith
Forestry Professor
University of the South


Ron Gray
Wood Fuel Manager
Avista Utilities

Dave Werntz
Science and Conservation Director
Conservation Northwest

Mike Petersen
Executive Director
The Lands Council

Timothy J. Coleman
Executive Director
Kettle Range Conservation Group

CC: Tom Tidwell, Chief, USDA Forest Service

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Jon Schwedler
North America Comm Forest Lead
(916) 769-4728


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