The UMR Systemic Forest Stewardship Plan was developed to provide a guide for the sustainable management of Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) forests, including opportunities for their restoration, and to ensure that the UMRS maintains its recognition as a nationally treasured ecological resource. The Plan accomplishes this by describing the current understanding of the state of the resource and its ecological stressors; providing guidance for forest restoration activities; establishing goals and objectives; identifying opportunities and data needs; establishing a monitoring strategy through an adaptive management framework; and developing additional recommendations that will ensure the long-term sustainability of this key component of the UMRS ecosystem.
Development of the Plan largely followed from agency and stakeholder recognition of the need for a framework of coordinated management at a system level to advance the overarching ecosystem goal of conserving, restoring, and maintaining the ecological structure and function of the UMRS. The coordinated effort was guided by a Product Delivery Team (PDT) consisting of members from the three UMRS Corps of Engineers Districts, five UMRS States, multiple Federal Agencies, non-governmental organizations, and additional stakeholders. The Plan establishes a foundation for the Corps and these partner agencies and stakeholders to more effectively collaborate on and implement environmental stewardship activities in UMRS forests.