USDA strengthens commitment to protect natural resources where public and private lands meet


VALLEJO, Calif. – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and U.S. Forest Service, with their federal, state and local partners, will build on their commitments to improving the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public forests and grasslands connect to privately-owned lands, according to Randy Moore, regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region.


Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, NRCS and the Forest Service will invest $32 million nationwide in fiscal year 2017 to add 10 new projects and support 26 partnership projects already underway. Partners will bring an additional $30 million through financial and in-kind contributions over three years for implementing the 10 new projects. With this funding, Joint Chiefs’ projects will extend to 29 states.


“This collaborative effort between the Forest Service and NRCS helps local partners with protecting communities, watersheds, forests and woodlands from the devastating and costly impacts of wildfires and other threats, protecting water resources, and improving wildlife habitat,” said Moore.


California will receive $3,370,911 for one project in fiscal year 2017.  California already has two Joint Chiefs projects, one on the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests, and another on the Angeles National Forest.


The Trinity Community Protection and Landscape Restoration Project supports the ongoing work of local partnerships to protect communities that are greatly at risk from wildfire and restore ecological processes, while also enhancing habitat for at-risk species.


“The Trinity Community Protection project and other Joint Chiefs’ projects show that smart, proactive investment in restoring forest ecosystems in these landscapes yields extraordinary benefits for landowners, communities, taxpayers and wildlife,” Moore said.


The 10 new projects and the amounts of USDA funding are listed below. For full project descriptions and information on completed projects, visit the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership website.


Alaska – Prince of Wales Island Landscape Restoration Partnership (Tongass National Forest)  $490,197  (Forest Service $392,197  NRCS $98,000)


California – Central Sierra Recovery and Restoration Project (Sierra National Forest) (Forest Service $1,799,344  NRCS $1,571,567)


Michigan – Partnering for Watershed Restoration of Lake Superior (Ottawa National Forest)  $176,400 Forest Service


Nebraska – Nebraska Northwest Landscape Restoration Project (Nebraska National Forest and Pawnee National Grasslands)  $874,746  (Forest Service $547,336  NRCS $327,410)


Oregon – Salmon Superhwy Basin Management Project (Siuslaw National Forest)  $412,855  (Forest Service $162,855  NRCS $250,000)


Oregon – North Warner Multi-Ownership Forest Health Project (Fremont-Winerna National Forest)  $1,149,283  (Forest Service $353,084  NRCS $796,199)


Pennsylvania – Sustaining Pennsylvania’s Oak Ecosystems through Partnership in Forest Management (Allegheny National Forest)  $1,074,030  (Forest Service $724,030  NRCS $350,000)


Utah – Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystems Restoration Project (Fishlake National Forest)  $434,107  (Forest Service $375,765  NRCS $58,342)  


Virginia – Lower Cowpasture Restoration Project (George Washington and Jefferson National Forests)  $523,984  (Forest Service $373,984  NRCS $150,000)


West Virginia – Appalachian Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (Monongahela National Forest)  $1,561,896  (Forest Service $526,612  NRCS $1,035,284)



Source: Public and private lands committments


John Stewart
Editor, OutdoorWire.com
Resources Consultant, California Four Wheel Drive Association
Board of Directors, BlueRibbon Coalition