SC Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy

Statewide Forest Resource Strategy

SC Forestry Commission Programs

Rural Forestry Assistance and Forest Stewardship
Rural Forestry Assistance and the Forest Stewardship Program were established by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.  Rural Forestry Assistance establishes a cooperative program between USDA and States to provide technical information, advice, and related assistance to private landowners and other entities within the forest management community to encourage conservation and management of non-Federal forests.  The Forest Stewardship Program focuses specifically on nonindustrial private forest lands by assisting owners of these lands to more actively manage their forests for multiple uses and values based on a Forest Stewardship Plan and using available expertise and assistance.  Grant funds are made available to South Carolina Forestry Commission under the legislative authority of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (as amended) and various appropriation acts.

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.1 -- Strategy 1.1.2

Objective 1.2 -- Strategies 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3

Objective 1.3 -- Strategies 1.3.1, 1.3.2

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

            Objective 1.5 -- Strategies 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.5

            Objective 2.1 -- Strategies 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.1.7, 2.1.9

            Objective 2.3 -- Strategies 2.3.1, 2.3.3

            Objective 2.4 -- Strategies 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7

            Objective 2.6 -- Strategies 2.6.1, 2.6.2

            Objective 3.2 -- Strategy 3.2.6

            Objective 3.3 -- Strategy 3.3.1

            Objective 3.4 -- Strategies 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.3, 3.4.4

            Objective 3.5 -- Strategies 3.5.5, 3.5.6

            Objective 4.1 -- Strategy 4.1.9

            Objective 4.2 -- Strategies 4.2.5, 4.2.6

            Objective 4.3 -- Strategies 4.3.3, 4.3.4

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is greater informed management as indicated by the number of forest management plans written (number), implementation of Forest Stewardship Plans (%), implementation of Forest Stewardship Plans in priority areas (acres), number of landowners assisted (number), acres assisted on other state lands (acres), number of consultant-written plans (Forest Stewardship) (number), number of Memorandum of Understandings with other agencies (number), number of referrals to consulting foresters (number), number of current plans (Forest Stewardship and FRP) (number), and number of landowners that indicated on seedling survey that they worked with a SC Forestry Commission forester (%).

Resources Needed

Funding for program development, outreach, and staffing.  Technology transfer. 

Nursery and Tree Improvement
The South Carolina Forestry Commission operates two Nursery & Tree Improvement (N&TI) facilities:   Taylor Nursery in Edgefield County and Niederhof Forestry Center in Jasper County.  The goal of the N&TI Program is to provide landowners with the highest-quality seed and seedlings available for timber production, wildlife habitat improvement, Christmas tree production, and restoration of valuable forested ecosystems.  Taylor Nursery has the capacity of growing 20-25 million Bareroot seedlings and 2.5 million containerized seedlings.  Niederhof Forestry Center has over 130 acres of second generation loblolly pine orchards and 25 acres of third generation loblolly pine orchards.  Longleaf orchard expansion will increase the availability of elite longleaf seedlings for forest landowners.  The N&TI program conducts a customer satisfaction survey annually as a means of tracking performance improvement. 

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.2 -- Strategy 1.2.1

Objective 1.5 -- Strategy 1.5.1

Objective 2.1 -- Strategy 2.1.9

Objective 2.5 -- Strategies 2.5.1, 2.5.2

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

Performance Measures

Desired outcomes are customers satisfied with the product (% satisfaction of customers that self-report), revenues meet or exceed costs (over 5-year period), and Performance Rating System (PRS) comparable with that available from other sources.

Resources Needed

Funding and staffing to enable the SC Forestry Commission to re-join the NC State Tree Improvement Cooperative as full members.

Resource Development

The goal of the Resource Development Program is to increase the contribution that forest resources, forest products, and forest product-related businesses make to South Carolina’s economy.  The agency accomplishes this goal by producing accurate and timely forest resource inventory data and working with existing and prospective companies in identifying opportunities for expansion. 

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.2 -- Strategy 1.2.1

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 2.1 -- Strategies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.6, 2.1.7, 2.1.8

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

 

Performance Measures
Success is measured in the long-term sustainability of the forest resource, the amount of new capital investment in forestry-related business, and the number of jobs created through business expansion.  Efforts are leveraged for more impact through partnerships that have been developed with state and local economic development organizations. 

Resources Needed
Funding for marketing, program development, and outreach.  Also, funding for additional staffing.

 

Forest Inventory and Analysis
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program is a joint cooperative program with the USDA Forest Service in which the South Carolina Forestry Commission collects forest inventory data on a network of plot locations.  The data collected is then furnished to the Forest Service for analysis on a statewide, as well as, on a national basis.

The Forest Inventory and Analysis section collects forest measurements on a network of 3,491 plots located throughout South Carolina.  During this year, plots are measured in 20 percent increments of the total number of plots for mensurational, growth projections, damage assessments, and land use classification.  The South Carolina Forestry Commission employs six full-time employees to collect data.  One full-time coordinator oversees all measurement operations.

In addition, the Forest Inventory and Analysis program collects forest health data on a network of 204 FIA plot locations throughout the South Carolina.  During the summer, 20 percent of the total plots are measured for mensurational, health, soil chemistry, lichens, and related parameters.  In addition, separate bioindicator plot samples will be established or previously established locations will be used to detect the presence of ozone pollution.

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.2 -- Strategy 1.2.1

Objective 1.5 -- Strategy 1.5.5

Objective 2.2 -- Strategies 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is meeting the required federal standards (completing 20% per year and meeting accuracy standards).  Metric is accurate (80% accuracy) and timely (20% or more per year) data gathered in FIA and TPO (Timber Products Output) survey.

Resources Needed

Funding for three FIA crews for South Carolina and for support, equipment, and vehicles.

State Fire Assistance
The State Fire Assistance (SFA) Program is a component of the Cooperative Fire Protection Program and is authorized by Congress through the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, (PL 95-313 as amended).  Funds are distributed to State Foresters based on recognition of the minimum need for all states to maintain and enhance coordination and communication with federal agencies.  Funds provide financial assistance, technical training, and equipment to ensure Federal, State, and local fire agencies can deliver a coordinated response to wildfire. 

The goal of the State Fire Assistance Program in South Carolina is to protect the state's communities, especially within the Wildland-Urban Interface, and timberland from significant loss of economic, ecological, or aesthetic value due to wildfire.   This is in the spirit of the agency’s mission of protecting and conserving the forestlands while preventing and suppressing wildfires. The emphasis is on improving fire planning, initial attack capabilities (primarily equipment and communications), knowledge and use of the Incident Command System, and wildfire technical training for local fire agencies.

Priority Area:   Wildfire Risk

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.1 -- Strategy 1.1.2

Objective 1.2 -- Strategies 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 1.5 -- Strategies 1.5.3, 1.5.4

Objective 2.1 -- Strategy 2.1.9

Objective 2.4 -- Strategy 2.4.2

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

Objective 3.1 -- Strategies 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.1.4

Objective 3.2 -- Strategies 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5, 3.2.6

Objective 3.3 -- Strategies 3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.4

Objective 3.5 -- Strategies 3.5.1, 3.5.2, 3.5.3, 3.5.4, 3.5.5, 3.5.6

Objective 4.3 -- Strategies 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) reduction in the number of structures lost to wildfire; 2) reduction in average fire size 3) increase in the number of hours of training conducted; 4) increase in the number of local fire departments that have received wildfire training; 5) evidence of cooperative agreements with non-traditional partners; and 6) decrease in the number of work time loss incidents per hundred fires.

Resources Needed

Funding for personnel to suppress wildfires as well wildfire suppression equipment.

National Fire Plan, State Fire Assistance
The National Fire Plan, State Fire Assistance (NFP-SFA) Program is a component of the Cooperative Fire Protection Program and is authorized by Congress through the Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriation.  Funds are distributed to State Foresters based on recognition of the minimum need for all states to maintain and enhance coordination and communication with federal agencies.  Fifty percent of these funds are to provide financial assistance for preparedness efforts; technical training and equipment to ensure Federal, State and local fire agencies can deliver a coordinated response to wildfire.  The remaining fifty percent of these funds are to provide financial assistance to administer and implement wildfire hazard mitigation activities.  Mitigation activities fall within the categories of:
Fire prevention and education
Community fire protection planning
Wildfire hazard reduction treatments

The goal of the National Fire Plan, State Fire Assistance Program in South Carolina is to protect the state's communities and timberland from significant loss of economic, ecological, or aesthetic value due to wildfire and to reduce the threat to communities from the impacts of wildland fire. The emphasis is on improving fire prevention, community wildfire planning, and reducing wildfire risk through hazard reduction treatments.

Priority Area:   Wildfire Risk

Objectives and Strategies  

  -- same as for State Fire Assistance above --

Performance Measures

  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) reduction in the number of structures lost to wildfire; 2) increase in the number of FireWise communities; 3) increase in the number of CWPPs; 4) increase in the number of local fire departments that have received wildfire training; and 5) evidence of cooperative agreements with non-traditional partners.

Resources Needed

  Funding for personnel to conduct assessments, design plans, and deliver training.

 

Forest Health

Through the Forest Health Program, the SC Forestry Commission monitors, reports, and coordinates suppression of endemic pests affecting forest trees in South Carolina.  The agency also works closely with Christmas tree growers, forest tree nurseries, seed orchards, and municipalities to manage forest health problems.  It also operates a laboratory that provides free diagnosis of insects and diseases.  The SC Forestry Commission maintains close working relations with the USDA Forest Service and other federal and state agencies such as Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industries. 

Priority Area:   Threats to Forest Health

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.2 -- Strategies 1.2.1, 1.2.3

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 1.5 -- Strategies 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.5

Objective 2.1 -- Strategy 2.1.9

Objective 2.2 -- Strategies 2.2.1, 2.2.2

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

Objective 3.4 -- Strategies 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.3, 3.4.4

Objective 4.2 -- Strategy 4.2.1

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) early detection and rapid response to forest pest problems as indicated by the prevention of new invasive species becoming established 2) number of workshops conducted, number of educational materials distributed, and positive responses to participant surveys (how useful they have found information); and 3) response time from the time at which Forest Health Section is notified or detects a forest pest until a recommendation is made.

Resources Needed

Cooperators, projects with other agencies in South Carolina, funding for personnel and equipment, technology to assist with data collection and analysis.

Water Quality (Best Management Practices)

The SC Forestry Commission coordinates a statewide Best Management Practices (BMP) Program for forestry-related activities. This program utilizes a proactive approach to help prevent non-point source pollution through offering voluntary courtesy BMP exams to forest landowners, foresters, and forestry operators. Specially trained Forestry BMP Specialists locate ongoing forestry operations through regular flights of high-priority watersheds, through voluntary notification, and through complaint calls. Courtesy BMP exams are offered to landowners, foresters, and forestry operators, providing them with site-specific recommendations regarding BMP implementation that can be included in timber sale contracts. After the forestry operation is completed, a final on-site inspection is conducted to determine if the appropriate BMPs were implemented on the site. On sites where damage has already occurred, recommendations for mitigating the damage are made. A monthly summary report of completed courtesy BMP exams is provided to DHEC and forest industry, indicating which forestry operators failed to implement the appropriate BMPs, resulting in a likely water quality impact. Forestry BMP Specialists conduct BMP training throughout the state, including the Timber Operating Professional (TOP Program) course.

Priority Area:   Threats to Water Quality

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 2.6 -- Strategy 2.6.2

Objective 4.1 -- Strategies 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.1.6, 4.1.7, 4.1.8, 4.1.9

Performance Measures
Desired outcome is increased awareness and compliance with BMPs as shown by training participation, courtesy exam requests, requests for assistance, and continued high level of compliance as evidenced by monitoring.

 

Resources Needed
Adequate staffing to carry out program implementation, funding for aerial detection, and funding for field equipment.

Urban and Community Forestry Assistance

The Urban and Community Forestry Assistance (U&CF) program provides technical and financial assistance to local governments and others to plan urban forestry programs and to plant, protect, and improve urban forests and associated natural resources. The goal of the U&CF Assistance Program is to create, enhance and support long-term local, regional and statewide community forestry programs. The active management of trees, forests and greenspaces contributes to clean air and water and energy conservation, reduces the impact of urbanization, mitigates the heat island effect, and reduces risk of tree failure during catastrophic events, among other things.

The SC Forestry Commission will work with public and private partners to address and implement the issues and action items within the state’s five-year strategic plan (revised in July 2006).  Some of those strategies listed in the U&CF section of the plan include:

Encourage those responsible for tree management within community settings to become certified under ISA’s accreditation program.
Encourage and assist county and municipal governments in the development of tree inventories, management plans and/or vegetation ordinances.
Encourage opportunities for training and continuing education in arboriculture and community forestry.
Promote the Tree City USA program and encourage interested communities to apply for Tree City status.

Priority Area:  Community Forestry

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.4  --  Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 1.5  --  Strategies 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3, 1.5.5, 1.5.6

Objective 2.6  --  Strategy 2.6.2

Objective 3.2  --  Strategies 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5

Objective 3.4  --  Strategies 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.3

Objective 3.5  --  Strategies 3.5.4, 3.5.5, 3.5.6

Objective 4.2  --  Strategies 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6

Objective 4.3  --  Strategy 4.3.4

Performance Measures
Desired outcome is a sustained capacity for communities of place and communities of people to actively manage and care for trees and associated vegetation as measured by professional staff, tree/natural resource inventory information and management plans, skilled and knowledgeable workers, recurring funding, tree management and conservation policies, and advocacy groups.
Resources Needed
Adequate and qualified staff to provide state-wide assistance, funding for cost-share grant programs, and logistical and administrative support to implement program components.

State Lands
The State Lands Forest Management Program was created to provide professional forest management assistance to South Carolina state agencies that own timberlands.  Through this program, SC Forestry Commission foresters write or approve management plans for state-owned land, approve and coordinate forest products sales, and provide services such as timber marking and prescribed burning.  Fees charged for this work are comparable to those the agency charges for services on private lands.

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.1 -- Strategies 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3

Objective 1.2 -- Strategy 1.2.1

Objective 1.5 -- Strategy 1.5.5

Objective 2.1 -- Strategies 2.1.7,  2.1.9

Objective 2.3 -- Strategies 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3

Objective 2.4 -- Strategies 2.4.2, 2.4.5

Objective 2.6 -- Strategies 2.6.1, 2.6.2

Objective 3.4 -- Strategies 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.3, 3.4.4

Objective 4.2 -- Strategies 4.2.5, 4.2.6

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is an increase in the number of acres of forestland protected from development and retained as working forests as well as revenue generated per acre.

Resources Needed

Funding for acquisition of property, equipment, and for supporting technology and adequate resource management capacity.

Information and Education

The Information and Education (I&E) program of the SC Forestry Commission manages the dissemination of information for the agency and develops and conducts educational programs.  To this end,  I&E employees manage the agency’s website, write news releases, respond to requests from the news media, conduct an annual Teacher’s Tour, coordinate Project Learning Tree for South Carolina, and provide educational opportunities for schools at state forests.  In addition, I&E and other agency employees work with other agencies to conduct joint educational programs such as the Envirothon, Woodlands Clinic, and FFA Forestry Career Development Event.

Priority Area:   Combined Priority Area for the State

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.1 -- Strategies 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3

Objective 1.2 -- Strategies 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4

Objective 1.3 -- Strategies 1.3.1, 1.3.2

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 1.5 -- Strategies 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3, 1.5.4, 1.5.5, 1.5.6

Objective 2.6 -- Strategies 2.6.1, 2.6.2

Objective 3.1 -- Strategy 3.1.4

Objective 3.2 -- Strategies 3.2.3, 3.2.4

Objective 3.3 -- Strategies 3.3.1, 3.3.2

Objective 4.2 -- Strategies 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.4

Objective 4.3 -- Strategies 4.3.3, 4.3.4

Performance Measures

Desired outcomes are the identification of target audiences, development of appropriate materials, an increase in the number of educational programs conducted, and the number of participants in these programs.  Metrics include description of target audiences, number of programs developed or updated, number of requests for educational programs, number of participants trained, and overall positive evaluations. 

Resources Needed

Funding for the development of educational materials, cooperator support, and adequate staffing to allow the development and delivery of information and programs.

 

Forest Legacy

The lead agency for the Forest Legacy Program in South Carolina is the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The goal of this program is to conserve working forests and protect them from being converted to nonforest uses.  The SCDNR has utilized this program to conserve critical wildlife habitat across the state while ensuring that traditional values and uses of forested areas continue to be available.  When Forest Legacy came to South Carolina in 1999, DNR worked in consultation with the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee (SFSCC) and the South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) to develop an Assessment of Need (AON).  Representatives from the SCDNR, SCFC, and SCFSCC were asked to serve on the Forest Legacy Subcommittee.  The state grant option was selected in the AON.  Under the State Grant Option, all Forest Legacy acquisitions shall be transacted by the state with the title vested in the state.  Landowner participation is entirely voluntary.  The subcommittee identified five Forest Legacy Areas in need of conservation and long-term forest management.

Priority Area:   Conserve Working Forests

Objectives and Strategies  

Objective 1.4 -- Strategies 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3, 1.4.4

Objective 2.3 -- Strategies 2.3.1, 2.3.2

Performance Measures

Desired outcome is for Forest Legacy to play a key role in supporting landscape conservation efforts and generate an increase in the number of acres of forestland protected from development and retained as working forests.

Resources Needed

Funding for acquisition of property and for administration of the Forest Legacy program.

 

SC Forest Resource Assessment Page