16 U.S. Code § 6591a - Designation of treatment areas
(a) Definition of declining forest health
In this section, the term “declining forest health” means a forest that is experiencing—
(b) Designation of treatment areas
(1) Initial areas
Not later than 60 days after February 7, 2014, the Secretary shall, if requested by the Governor of the State, designate as part of an insect and disease treatment program 1 or more landscape-scale areas, such as subwatersheds (sixth-level hydrologic units, according to the System of Hydrologic Unit Codes of the United States Geological Survey), in at least 1 national forest in each State that is experiencing an insect or disease epidemic.
To be designated a landscape-scale area under subsection (b), the area shall be—
(1) experiencing declining forest health, based on annual forest health surveys conducted by the Secretary;
(2) at risk of experiencing substantially increased tree mortality over the next 15 years due to insect or disease infestation, based on the most recent National Insect and Disease Risk Map published by the Forest Service; or
(d) Treatment of areas
(1) In general
The Secretary may carry out priority projects on Federal land in the areas designated under subsection (b) to reduce the risk or extent of, or increase the resilience to, insect or disease infestation in the areas.
Projects carried out under this subsection shall be considered authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects for purposes of the authorities described in paragraph (2).
(A) In general
In accordance with the schedule described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall issue 2 reports on actions taken to carry out this subsection, including—
(e) Tree retention
The Secretary shall carry out projects under subsection (d) in a manner that maximizes the retention of old-growth and large trees, as appropriate for the forest type, to the extent that the trees promote stands that are resilient to insects and disease.