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GNA Program Revenue Projects Information

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Program revenue refers to the funds received from the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) sales of forest products on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF). This money is to be spent on the CNNF to carry out authorized restoration services. Some projects funded to date include restoration for cold-water trout streams, writing silvicultural prescriptions, assessing aspen stand conditions, groundwater surveys and wildlife surveys. See the 2018 Farm Bill (section 8624) [exit DNR] for the complete details of new and expanded authorities under the GNA. For more detail on the 2018 Farm Bill, see USDA U.S. Forest Service informational page [exit DNR].

Information on timber sales conducted on CNNF lands can be found on the Chequamegon-Nicolet Timber Sale Information page. For details on active, completed and proposed program revenue projects, please refer to the Additional Resources sidebar.

Desired Outcomes

Through the Good Neighbor Authority agreements, the USDA Forest Service and Wisconsin DNR hope to achieve several specific goals, also known as desired outcomes. These desired outcomes for program revenue, in no particular order, include:

  • accomplishing land management actions implementing the CNNF Land Management Plan;
  • ensuring the sustainability of the overall GNA program;
  • adding value to a variety of forest programs;
  • working in partnership to accomplish projects that benefit the landscape; and
  • leveraging resources, both financial and personnel, for greater accomplishment of watershed restoration and habitat improvement.

Guidelines

Guidelines for the use of program revenue have been put in place to identify how program revenue may be used. The goal is to remain as flexible as possible in how program revenue is used. Please reference the Program Revenue Process Paper in the Additional Resources sidebar for the complete list of guidelines.

  • The CNNF will operate within federal authorities.
  • Only authorized restoration services are allowed under the agreement, which includes activities to treat insect and disease infected trees, reduce hazardous fuels, and any other activities to restore or improve forest, rangeland and watershed health, including fish and wildlife.
  • Services not allowed by this agreement include work on paved/permanent roads, parking areas and public buildings. Projects in wilderness areas and where vegetation removal is prohibited/restricted are also not authorized by this agreement. Temporary roads are allowed.
  • Per the 2018 Farm Bill, projects using revenue generated by a GNA agreement cannot be used off Federal lands.
  • The DNR and CNNF will make final decisions on project selection.
  • Program Revenue is subject to federal financial assistance regulations.

Project Development

Since the DNR and CNNF must work together to gather and carry out projects, specific criteria have been established to identify projects, determine priority, and make final selections. In no particular order, the CNNF criteria to identify projects are:

  • Projects are consistent with the CNNF Land Management Plan.
  • Environmental reviews for the project are complete, not needed or are not expected to be a significant workload.
  • Reinvestment projects to sustain the long-term timber outputs associated with the agreement. A target gross percentage each year may be directed for these reinvestments.
  • Projects that address shortfalls in projected outputs noted in CNNF Monitoring and Evaluation reports or other assessments of forest plan accomplishment. Prioritize projects to meet the most critical areas.
  • Projects for which appropriated funding or partner funding is unlikely to be sufficient.
  • Offset other expenses of the forest that can be substituted with program revenue funds.

Projects that meet the criteria specified above must then be evaluated to determine priority by the DNR as budgets may change and staff availability to complete projects. In no particular order, the criteria to determine projects to work on are:

  • projects where DNR already has the expertise and ability to contract or perform the activity efficiently;
  • the project helps advance a partner or state project;
  • easy to implement (i.e., efficient use of time/energy for the cost); and
  • able to leverage other funds.

With a list of potential projects informed by partner input and the criteria established for each agency, projects are then compared to see which ones rank highly for both agencies. Final projects that will be pursued are then chosen by:

  • selecting the number of projects that can be accomplished based on current timing, financial ability and staff availability at the time projects are set to begin;
  • drafting the list of projects and receiving a final decision from both the CNNF Forest Supervisor and Chief State Forester; and
  • maintaining the list of projects to select from when needed, which may change over time.

Implementation

Regularly, DNR and CNNF will discuss possible projects. Selected projects will be added to the Supplemental Project Agreement modification for the year. As part of discussions:

  • depending on the project, and with input from the CNNF, DNR will determine if it is best for a) DNR staff to implement, b) bid to consultants, c) use the grant process; and
  • the DNR and CNNF will develop a procedure for reviewing/auditing projects and reporting accomplishments.

Communication

Agencies, partners and other organizations involved in GNA will play different roles in the program revenue project process:

  • DNR & CNNF role: final decision on which projects will be implemented. A GNA Public Forum was held to share information on GNA, GNA program revenue projects and to gather project ideas.
  • Forestry community (i.e., stakeholders and partners) role: provide DNR and CNNF with project ideas. Ideas should align with criteria identified in this process, have a rough outline of how it might be accomplished and identify a lead person for the stakeholder and within USFS/DNR for communications.
  • Partner (contractor, county or organization that implements project) role: provide input into the project they are working on or have the capacity to work on, process improvement in working with DNR/CNNF on projects, reporting of accomplishments.

Additionally, the following are ways in which the DNR and CNNF will communicate the program revenue project process and plans:

  1. DNR and CNNF inform Council on Forestry (annually) regarding program revenue project process and forestry community involvement.
  2. DNR and CNNF share program of work for Program Revenue Projects annually with distribution lists such as Council on Forestry and via DNR web.
  3. DNR solicitation for bids, contracts, and grant opportunities will be advertised similar to other DNR business and CNNF will further publicize these opportunities through its website, social media, press releases and other outlets, as appropriate.
  4. Communicate outcomes of projects back through the Council on Forestry and other venues to share accomplishments.