BOISE - More than 6 million acres of Idaho’s forestlands are designated as “high risk” for potential catastrophic wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks. Ara Andrea became the new coordinator for the group effort known as “Shared Stewardship” on Oct. 5, to address these issues with federal, state, and private land managers.
Idaho’s Shared Stewardship Initiative efforts emerged as a result of collaboration between the State of Idaho and the USDA Forest Service in 2018. The initiative analyzes how to best focus federal and state resources on critically needed treatments in at-risk forests across ownership boundaries.
By strategizing with the working members of Governor Little’s Shared Stewardship Advisory Group, one of Andrea’s top priorities is to collect and convey meaningful accomplishment metrics to show leaders and the general public how Idaho is making improvements in forest management.
“My primary goal is to implement wildfire risk-reducing treatments through strong partnerships, close collaboration, and participatory leadership,” said Andrea. “Building on past collaborative efforts and taking the next step to an ‘all hands, all lands’ approach is how I see our threatened forests becoming more resilient to fire and disease.”
Andrea was hired by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) as the statewide coordinator of the Shared Stewardship Initiative in Idaho and starts her new position today. For the last four years, Andrea has been IDL’s Forestry Assistance Bureau Chief, and for three years prior, was IDL’s Technical Services Bureau Chief. She is excited to assume this liaison role to strengthen relationships between the agencies, organizations and landowners that will work together to get these needed management activities completed on the ground.