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Open AccessArticle

Current Status of Forest Health Policy in the United States

D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, 180 E Green Street, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Center for Invasive Species Protection, 8208 Dabney Avenue, Springfield, VA 22152, USA
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(4), 106;
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Forest Insects in a Changing World)
PDF [2071 KB, uploaded 23 April 2019]


Federal policies related to forestry and forest health (specifically, insects and diseases) have the potential to affect management practices, terms of international and interstate trade, and long-term sustainability and conservation. Our objectives were to review existing federal policies, the role of federal agencies in managing forest health, and guidance for future policy efforts. Since the 1940s, various federal policies relevant to forest health have been established, and several US Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies have been empowered to assist with prevention, quarantine, detection, management, and control of insects and diseases. Overall, our review showed that relatively few national policies directly address forest health as a stand-alone objective, as most of them are embedded within forestry bills. Federal funding for forest health issues and the number of personnel dedicated to such issues have declined dramatically for some agencies. Concomitantly, native species continue to gain pestiferous status while non-native species continue to establish and cause impacts in the US. To enhance our ability and capacity to deal with current and future threats, concerted efforts are needed to advocate for both resources and stand-alone policy tools that take seriously the complexity of emerging sustainability challenges in both private and public forestlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: federal policy; forest disease; forest insects federal policy; forest disease; forest insects

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Gandhi, K.J.K.; Campbell, F.; Abrams, J. Current Status of Forest Health Policy in the United States. Insects 2019, 10, 106.

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