The Forestry Research Advisory Council (FRAC) is required by the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to provide advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on accomplishing efficiently the purposes of the McIntire-Stennis Act of 1962. The Act authorizes the Secretary to encourage and assist several states in forestry research through land-grant colleges or agricultural experiment stations and other state-supported colleges and universities which offer graduate training in the sciences basic to forestry and which have a forestry school. The Council provides advice related to the Forest Service research program, authorized by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978.
Council responsibilities cover regional and national forestry research planning and coordination within federal and state agencies, forestry schools, forest industries, and non-governmental organizations. FRAC convenes annually and presents recommendations to the Secretary.
A summary of the forestry research recommendations FRAC made to the Secretary includes:
- Ensure that research is fully integrated with technology transfer efforts by including the transfer of information and knowledge to the end user in a user-friendly format.
- Integrate social sciences with biophysical sciences in research projects to strengthen the capability to study coupled ecological, and social systems, such as wildfire, climate change mitigation and adaptation, wildfire, and land-use and land-management decisions.
- Develop the supporting science to sustainably manage competing demands on forests and agroforests to produce biofuels, fiber, and water and ecosystem services in concert with measured biological objectives.
- Maintain intellectual capacity in fundamental forest sciences such as pathology, entomology, silviculture, botany, and field biology, to avoid continued loss of expertise and capacity to respond to future forest issues such as climate change, forest pests and pathogens, and other emerging issues.