USDA Announces Funding to Address Threats to State and Private Forests
Grants to States and Territories will help landowners sustain urban and rural forests
WASHINGTON, September 22, 2010 –Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced annual funding to help all states and trust territories sustain the nation's urban and rural forests, and to protect communities and the environment from wildfires, insects, diseases and invasive species.
"America's state and private forests provide a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits, including clean water, wood products, habitat for wildlife, and outdoor recreation," said Vilsack. "These grants will help states conserve open space, protect private forests from a variety of threats, and enhance public safety by reducing the threat of wildfire."
Grant recipients, who will receive a total of $190 million from today's announcement, typically use the funding for firefighting and hazardous fuels reduction, tree planting operations, and overall forest management issues. The USDA Forest Service's State and Private Forestry program facilitates the funding process.
"It is rewarding to know that many of these grants will be used by local communities for vitally important work, such as training firefighters and providing much needed fire supplies and equipment," said US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "On a larger scale, these grants provide states with the necessary funds to conduct overall improvements on urban and rural forests, working with locals to reconnect them to the outdoors and making the nation's forests more resilient to threats like wildfires, insects, diseases and invasive species."
State and private forested lands cover approximately 490 million acres across the country. These lands provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, open space and about 70 percent of the nation's wood supply. The State and Private Forestry program provides assistance to owners of these lands to better manage their land and to provide local public benefits.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202-720-6382 (TDD).