USDA Invests Millions to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems, Improve Drinking Water

DAVIS, Calif., March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest more than $12 million this year to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems through 13 targeted projects on both public and private lands, including three in California.

Since 2014, USDA has invested $213 million in 69 Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership projects, which focus on areas where public forests and grasslands intersect with privately-owned lands.

The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership enables the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forest Service to leverage technical and financial assistance collaboratively alongside agricultural producers and forest landowners in California to help reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.

“With the help of USDA, producers can improve their forestry operations while realizing many other benefits, including mitigating impacts from wildfires, improving water quality, and wildlife habitat,” said Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist in California.

During the new three-year projects, landowners will work with local USDA experts and partners to apply targeted forestry management practices on their land, such as thinning, hazardous fuel treatments, fire breaks and other systems, to meet unique forestry challenges in California. 

This partnership builds on 17 ongoing projects launched in 2017 and 2018.  Federal, state, and local partners plan to invest an additional $18 million through financial and in-kind contributions to continue existing projects.

California Projects

Central Sierra Recovery and Restoration Project
Total FY 2019 Funding:  $1,589,500
Location:   Mariposa, Madera and Fresno counties

Rural Community Fire Protection and Forest Management
Total FY 2019 Funding:  $710,833
Location: Northwestern California

Yreka Craggy Project
Total FY 2019 Funding: $140,000
Location: Siskiyou County

For full project descriptions and information on completed projects, visit the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership website.

Ag producers and forest landowners interested in a project to mitigate wildfire risk should contact their local USDA service center to see if their land is eligible. More information is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xEsyY.

SOURCE USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

Related Links

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov

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