Balancing the triple bottom line: Results from the 4th National Assessment of Tribal Forests and Forest Management
The National Indian Forest Resource Management Act requires decadal assessments of the status of tribal forests and forest management in the United States. A team of independent experts, otherwise known as the Indian Forest Management Assessment Team (IFMAT) over a period of 2 years visited more than 40 different tribes with significant forest resources and surveyed tribal communities and the BIA staff about tribal forestry issues. IFMAT also conducted focus groups during visits to obtain the perspectives of tribal communities and compared forest management on tribal lands to similar federal and private lands. Eight major findings arose from our efforts that lead to a suite of major and supporting recommendations that will be presented to Congress in spring 2023. Tribal forests have immense potential to showcase long-term forest stewardship by balancing the social, ecological and environmental needs of their communities.