Rhode Island

A path to tomorrow’s forests

Conserve

Maintain forestland area and minimize further fragmentation of forest resources through innovative land conservation and management techniques

Protect

Monitor and respond to forest health threats to avoid unacceptable loses to the state’s forest resources

Enhance

Promote sustainable management of forests that provides a wide range of benefits

Advancing the effectiveness of public and private forest stewardship

The R.I. Department of Environmental Management Division of Forest Environment developed this Forest Action Plan by building on the previous Rhode Island Forest Resources Management Plan. It established a vision, goals, and policies and provides recommendations focused on the management of tree and forest resources within the State of Rhode Island. This guidance is intended to advance the effectiveness of public and private stewardship of the state’s tree and forest resources towards the twin goals of a healthy, sustainable economy and environment.

Over the past forty years, forestlands have been decreasing in Rhode Island. Effective management of our forest resources affects many factors considered critical to a high quality environment and is, therefore, central to the continued well-being of all Rhode Islanders. A consistent course of comprehensive planning as well as identifying and implementing management priorities, is crucial to the sustainability of the forests and their continued ability to meet the many demands placed upon them, and to provide the benefits we derive from them.

As Rhode Island’s role as both a consumer and producer in the global economy increases, it is important to retain vigorous surveillance and response capabilities to control incipient outbreaks of threats to the health of the state’s forests.  A major concern today comes from introduced or exotic pests from imported goods exchanged in the modern global economy. The use of chemicals has become the last in a line of defense against insects and disease. Preferred methods include education, Integrated Pest Management, silvicultural and biological controls.

Maintaining healthy forests in watersheds is the most effective means to ensure high water quality; it is also cheaper than water treatment. Improperly sited development projects can be a major threat to Rhode Island water supply sources.  Subsequently, a key strategy over the years has been to protect, through public or water-supplier control, as much of the land immediately adjacent to water supply reservoirs as feasible.

Agency Information

Rhode Island Division of Forest Environment
235 Promenade St, Rm 434
Providence, Rhode Island

Bruce Payton, Forester
401-222-2445x2056
bruce.payton@dem.ri.gov