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HomeState & Private Forestry News
August 2018   
From the Director
Kathleen Atkinson,
Area Director
(Forest Service photo)


Leadership Note
Coming to the end of the first phase of the 30-Day Dignity & Respect Challenge, I wanted to reflect on what I've learned.

The 30-Day challenge   is all about focusing on our interactions with others. The hope was that employees exemplifying a simple dignity and respect tip each day would promote positive behavioral and organizational change.

I took the Dignity & Respect pledge and completed my check-list. In my pledge, I made a commitment to be more mindful and intentional about how to show respect to employees. It is easy to show respect the way I like to be respected, but everyone is different. Therefore, I set out to better understand what constitutes respect for each of my employees in order to tailor my behavior accordingly.

I believe that taking the challenge moved me forward in achieving this goal. Tips such as "Get someone else's point of view," "Listen," "Ask," and "Be open" were particularly fitting. On a personal level, incorporating these daily inspirations made me feel good and I learned a lot from people's responses. These might be small steps, but together I think they add up to make a difference in terms of uplifting and empowering employees through a respectful, safe work environment.

I have been inspired by innovative efforts of Change Champions throughout the Northeast and Midwest to promote the Dignity & Respect concept and challenge. Some have incorporated the tips into unit morning briefings, safety meetings, and daily e-mail reminders. On the Huron-Manistee, they started an electronic word search game, a fun way to learn the fundamentals of Standing up for Each other in the Northeast and Midwest  and the Dignity & Respect challenge. On the Mark Twain, they collaborated with an already established Multicultural team to increase awareness and generate interest. On the Midewin, they are presenting a series of change champion's workshops around themes such as Communication & Common Ground. And, on the Superior, they joined forces with the influential Advocates for Change group.

For those who haven't pledged or started the Dignity & Respect Challenge - please consider it; it is not too late! Our hope is that all employees take the challenge and new employees, volunteers, and interns are made aware of it as a tenant of the Forest Service in the Northeast and Midwest.

Tony Ferguson and I, along with the Change Champions, are planning to evaluate the initial phase of the Dignity & Respect challenge in order to determine next steps.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on the Dignity & Respect Challenge, Change Champions, or other efforts to uplift and empower employees, you can continue to send them to our inbox at . I would like to hear from you.

  --- Kathleen Atkinson,
  Regional Forester and Northeastern Area Director
Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Protection Compact Presented with Golden Smokey Award for Outstanding Wildfire Prevention

A group of people pose for a photo including someone who is dressed in the Smokey Bear costume.
From left to right: New Hampshire State Forester Brad Simpkins, Fred Turck of Virginia, Levi Gelnett of Pennsylvania, Dave Robbins of Maryland, Ashley Melvin of Delaware, Aaron Kloss of Ohio, New Jersey State Forester John Sacco, West Virginia State Forester Barry Cook, Smokey Bear, U.S. Forest Service R9 Regional Forester and Northeastern Area Director Kathleen Atkinson, and U.S. Forest Service Acting Deputy Chief Patti Hirami. (Courtesy photo by Greg Smith, ODNR Division of Forestry)

The Mid-Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact's Fire Prevention Committee was recently presented with the Golden Smokey Award. Over the past several years, compact member States have worked together to produce innovative wildfire prevention messages that impact thousands of individuals across the United States and Canada. Read the full article on the award presentation .
OneUSDA Approach to Collaboration: Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership
July 20, 2018

From Inside the Forest Service

View of a tree-lined canyon in the summer.
Scenic view in north-central Pennsylvania. (U.S. Forest Service photo by Devin J. Wanner)

The Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership, managed by the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, will solicit for fiscal year 2019 projects starting today with a deadline of October 19. In the spirit of recognizing that all lands must be treated to help return the landscape to a more natural condition, this program provides incentives for private landowners, who often lack resources to accomplish restoration work, thus increasing healthy ecosystems on the landscape and reducing wildfire risk. Read the full article on the Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership .
2018 Webinar: Managing Deer Browse for Forest Health: Insights from the Great Lakes Silviculture Library

From My Minnesota Woods

2018 Webinar: Managing Deer Browse for Forest Health

Managing browse from white-tailed deer is an everyday challenge for Minnesota's natural resource managers. This two-part presentation includes a presentation of research from Christel Kern and the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station. John Geissler of St. John's Abbey Arboretum then discusses the use of shelterwood silvicultural treatments and seedling protection treatments in oak-dominated forests in central Minnesota. These presentations draw from new and existing case studies published in the Great Lakes Silviculture Library . Learn more about the webinar.
Grant Opportunities Available on

Forest ServiceLandscape Scale Restoration competitive grants help State forestry agencies meet the priorities of their Forest Action Plans, while also helping the Forest Service meet regional and national needs. Organizations interested in helping States and the Forest Service attain our mutual goals can familiarize themselves with their State's Forest Action Plan and discuss project ideas with their State forestry agency. Closing Date October 12. ( USDA-FS-2019-LSR)

National Park Service: American Battlefield Protection Program. The National Park Service makes available funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help States and local communities acquire and preserve threatened Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War Battlefields. Closing Date September 14. ( P17AS00825)

National Park Service: Eligible U.S. State and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribes are invited to submit proposals for matching grants to support projects that would acquire or develop public land for outdoor recreation purposes located within or serving Census-delineated "urbanized areas": places with a population of 50,000 or more people that are densely settled. Closing Date September 14. ( P18AS00153)

Fish and Wildlife Service: The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to private landowners to restore and conserve fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of Federal trust resources. Closing Date September 30. ( F18AS00011)

Fish and Wildlife Service: The Fox River Green Bay Natural Resource Trustees restore natural resources injured by the release of polychlorinated biphenyls into the Lower Fox River and Green Bay, WI. Closing Date September 30. ( F18AS00023)

Fish and Wildlife Service: The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides technical and financial assistance to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. The Coastal Program - Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding is available to coastal areas within the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes basin, which includes parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Closing Date September 30. ( F18AS00025)

Fish and Wildlife Service: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative targets the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem by funding and implementing Federal projects that address these problems. One goal is to improve habitat and wildlife protection and restoration. Emphasis will be placed on, but not limited to, completing projects within the watersheds of Great Lakes Areas of Concern and in coastal zones. Closing Date September 30. ( F18AS00051)

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