The Center for First Americans Forestlands (CFAF) is the embodiment of a partnership between the College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) and four divisions of the USDA Forest Service (USFS): Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (NA), the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the Eastern Region of the National Forest System (R9), and Northern Research Station (NRS). The partnership has historically operated under a five year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
This partnership is unique because it brings together multiple branches of the Forest Service and a Tribal College to work collaboratively and provide a centralized source of forestry and natural resource information for Tribal nations. CFAF was developed as a Center at SDI to provide communities throughout Indian County with access to training and resources from CMN and the USFS. These resources are also provided through the Tribal College and University network allowing engagement with a more diverse audience while bridging the gaps between Tribal students and Tribal Professionals.
As originally intended, CFAF assists Tribal professionals and students in achieving excellence and continues to serve as a model for federal and Tribal partnerships. Other partnerships within this relationship include academic institutions and other federal agencies conducting research in forestry and related issues with a common cause for public good. These diverse relationships serve both Indian Country and communities outside of Indian County to facilitate stewardship efforts of lands and natural resources within their jurisdictions.
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