Skip to main content

Table 1 A summary of primary fire-related policies in the US Forest Service, 1976 to present

From: Forest Service fire management and the elusiveness of change

Policy General relevance to problem framing and wildland fire response Primary USFS branch affected
National Forest Management Act, passed by Congress in 1976 (NFMA); see also NFMA regulations, also known as “the planning rule,” written by the agency to interpret the NFMA and most recently revised in 2012 Establishes requirements and provides guidance for land and resource planning documents NFS
Healthy Forests Restoration Act, passed by Congress in 2003 (HFRA) Prioritizes hazardous fuel reduction projects; encourages Community Wildfire Protection Plans NFS
Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), established by Congress under Title IV of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 Funds priority hazardous fuel reduction and forest restoration projects that are collaboratively designed and implemented NFS
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, written by the US Departments of Agriculture and Interior and required under the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act, passed by Congress in 2009 Sets broad fire management goals for the Departments of Agriculture and Interior NFS and FAM
Land and resource management plans (i.e., “forest plans”) Establish desired resource conditions; govern development and implementation of local projects; must be written to comply with the NFMA and planning rule NFS
Spatial Fire Planning and Fire Management Reference System Establishes fire management objectives and requirements for incident response consistent with forest plan guidance and objectives FAM
Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (1995, 2001) and Guidance for Implementation (2009) Establishes priorities and protocols for fire response, and circumscribes allowable response objectives FAM
National Fire Plan (2000) Prioritizes fuels reduction and directs additional resources towards suppression efforts FAM
Forest Service Manual (FSM), Chapter 5130 Outlines general roles, responsibilities, and principles for agency fire response FAM
Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations (Red Book) Provides guidance for implementation of response operations FAM