‘Good Neighbor’ Projects Extended To Tribal Lands

The Nez Perce Tribe and U.S. Forest Service have signed an agreement allowing the two to team up on projects in the 6,250 square mile Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests in north-central Idaho. The Forest Service has said that the agreement through the Good Neighbor Authority will initially focus on fuels reduction projects to reduce wildfire threats.

The Good Neighbor Authority allows the Forest Service to enter into agreements with states, counties and tribes to collaborate on restoration work on Forest Service land. It was launched in 200, expanded in 2018 to include tribes and counties, and allows state and now tribal participation in federal timber sales to pay for restoration work on private, state and federal lands. State and industry officials who have worked with Good Neighbor Authority projects in the past have favorable reviews of the program, which helps keep timber sales and forest health projects moving.

The Nez Perce agreement is the first tribal agreement in the Forest Service’s Northern Region, which includes national forests in northern Idaho, Montana and northeastern Washington. The tribe manages about 90 square miles of forest on its reservation in north-central Idaho that generates income for essential tribal government services.

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