GNA Spotlight - December 2022

Good Neighbor Authority Spotlight

Authored by Lezlee Johnson, Forestry & Fire Management Team Leader, North Dakota Forest Service

Slope County, North Dakota is home to the northeastern most stands of native ponderosa pine in North America. Unmanaged and overstocked, these are vulnerable low elevation stands.

In 2004, several hundred acres of the pines burned in the Deep Creek Fire, with too few seed trees left to provide for natural regeneration. At the invitation of private landowners and with USDA Forest Service funding, the North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS) seasonal fire crews began hazardous fuels reduction work on private land surrounding Dakota Prairie Grasslands (DPG) near Amidon in 2005.

Cross-boundary work began in earnest in 2017, when a GNA agreement called the Woodlands and Grasslands Sustainability Agreement brought the NDFS crew to DPG to conduct thinning and winter pile burning.

The overall goal is to increase the pace and scale of landscape restoration. NDFS conducts forest health surveys in the pines annually with support provided by USDA-APHIS, USDA Forest Service, ND Department of Agriculture, and North Dakota State University.

For more information, contact Lezlee Johnson.

Photo Credit: Lezlee Johnson