Texas A&M Forest Service conserves and protects the resources and lands of the Lone Star State.
Conserving Texas’ trees and forests, the state agency helps property owners maintain land and natural resources to ensure forestlands remain productive and healthy not only for the environment, but for generations of Texans to come.
TFS is also one of the lead agencies for incident management in the state. From the initial response to ongoing recovery, the agency strives to protect Texas from wildfire and other types of disasters. TFS does this by not only fighting wildfire and responding to incidents, but also by building capacity and increasing public awareness about community protection and wildfire prevention.
In partnership with other agencies, local governments and fire departments, TFS provides programs to aid communities across the state, giving them tools and resources to actively protect themselves and their properties.
How Texas A&M Forest Service was established:
TFS was created in 1915 out of a need for a conservation plan and state forester for Texas.
In November 1914, W. Goodrich Jones
and conservation-minded leaders in Temple, Texas created the Texas Forestry Association
, a non-partisan, non-profit organization and lobbied to form a state forestry agency and develop a statewide plan for forest conservation.
Texas lawmakers created a new state agency and entrusted in it the responsibilities of monitoring and protecting the state’s forests. March 31, 1915, House Bill No. 9, An Act to Promote Forest Interests in the State created the Department of Forestry, subsequently renamed Texas Forest Service and now called the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The legislative authority of Texas A&M Forest Service
The 34th Texas Legislature mandated TFS to “assume direction of all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the state.” And in 1993, the 73rd Texas Legislature expanded TFS responsibility to include “Coordination of the response to each major or potentially major wildland fire in the state.” During all-hazard state emergencies, the State Emergency Management Plan calls for TFS to work with the Texas Division of Emergency Management to develop regional Incident Management Teams.
How Texas A&M Forest Service fits into Texas A&M System and state government:
Each state in the United States has a forestry agency, but Texas was the first in the nation to establish its state forestry agency as part of a land-grant college. Four other states have since done the same: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota. TFS is one of seven Texas state agencies headquartered not in Austin—but in College Station, Texas.
Signed into law in 1862, the Morrill Act fostered the land-grant mission, and has provided a broad segment of the population with a practical education that has direct relevance to their daily lives through research, teaching, extension and service. TFS embodies the service component of this land-grant institution and of Texas A&M AgriLife.
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