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The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) authorizes the USDA Forest Service or state governments to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forest lands and to prevent those lands from being converted to a non-forest use. The forest lands that contain important scenic, cultural, recreation resources, fish and wildlife habitats, water resources, and other ecological values that will support continued traditional forest uses receive priority. Those land owners that choose to participate in the program are required to follow a stewardship plan designed for their forest. Activities consistent with the management plan, including timber harvesting, grazing, and recreation activities, are permitted.
For Nebraska to participate in the FLP, the Nebraska Forest Service (NFS) was identified by the Governor of Nebraska to produce a document assessing the need for such a program. This Assessment of Need (AON) document contains a background of Nebraska, an overview of the tasks performed, and descriptions of each Forest Legacy Area (FLA), as well as selection criteria of inclusion in the FLP.