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Gov. Cox and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack sign new agreement to fight wildfires

Tags: Future Prosperity, Rural Matters

SALT LAKE CITY (May 5, 2022)  – Today, Gov. Cox and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack signed a renewed Shared Stewardship agreement that reaffirms a mutual commitment to build relationships and coalitions needed to confront the wildfire crisis throughout the state of Utah. 

“Wildfire danger remains extremely high this year and by working together with our partners, we can substantially reduce the risks to lives and property as well as keep our forests healthy,” Gov. Cox said. “We’re grateful for the continued collaboration and we’re confident the effort is having an impact on preventing catastrophic wildfires.”

“This new agreement strengthens the existing robust relationship between the state of Utah and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Under the initial Shared Stewardship agreement, a tremendous amount of work has already been accomplished. We look forward to continuing our efforts to protect at-risk communities and watersheds imperative to the people of Utah.”

Since signing the original Shared Stewardship agreement in 2019, the state, Forest Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service have substantially increased fuel reduction and forest health treatments in places where wildfire presents an immediate risk to communities and critical water resources.

Over four years, partners successfully treated more than 54,000 acres, funding 31 projects with more than $20 million in state, federal and partner funds. 

Shared Stewardship is about jointly identifying priorities and combining resources to achieve cross-boundary outcomes using every available authority and tool to improve forest health. It encouraged the longstanding culture of cooperation between the state, Forest Service and NRCS and capitalized on the shared belief that no singular agency can address the threat of the wildfire crisis. 

The agreement provides a framework for cross boundary, landscape-scale management of forest throughout the state to protect communities and watersheds from the threat, and negative consequences, of large catastrophic wildfires. 

Essential to the success of Utah Shared Stewardship is the varied and involved group of partners representing federal and state agencies, county leaders and state legislators, nonprofit organizations, private interest groups, water conservancy districts, private industry and individual citizens, all invested in improving the health of our forests. 

These groups are working together to develop meaningful partnerships, identify shared priorities and strategically invest resources.

Shared Stewardship agreement is attached here. Video is available here. Photos will be available at

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