USDA Announces Grants to Protect Private Forest Land in 33 States
Grants Will Help Forest Legacy Program Reach Total of Over 2 Million Protected Acres
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of grants to permanently protect private forestland in 33 states and U.S. territories through the Forest Legacy Program (FLP). The 2010 FLP awards, which total $72 million, will help the program reach a total of over 2 million permanently protected acres across the country.
"The threats facing our nation's forests do not recognize property boundaries, and we must cooperate across landscapes to protect working forests that supply clean and abundant water, shelter wildlife, and help us mitigate and adapt to climate change," said Vilsack. "The grants announced today will help the Forest Legacy Program protect working forests in states around the country that are in danger of becoming fragmented or disappearing altogether."
The Forest Legacy Program works directly with states to protect privately-owned forests from conversion to housing development or other uses that would threaten the conservation, management and restoration of the nation's forests. The program promotes voluntary land conservation through the principle of "willing buyer, willing seller." Program lands are protected through conservation easements, which allow landowners to retain ownership, or through property acquisition by states.
FLP uses a competitive process to strategically select ecologically and socially important projects facing the greatest threat of conversion to other land uses. Projects that protect air and water quality provide recreational opportunities, protect wildlife habitat, and provide forest products and resource-based jobs receive strong consideration.
A list of the 2010 FLP recipients is below, and brief project descriptions can be found at www.fs.fed.us.
Awards announced today include:
Alaska, South Denali, $675,000
Ala., Cumberland Mountains Preserve, $640,000
American Samoa, Ottoville Rainforest Preserve, $1,000,000
Ariz., San Pedro River Ecosystem, $900,000
Calif., Chalk Mountain Area, $2,000,000
Colo., Snow Mountain Ranch, $2,500,000
Conn., Tulmeadow Farm, $1,415,000
Del., Green Horizons, $4,000,000
Fla., St. Vincent Sound-to-Lake Wimico, $2,500,000
Ga., Murff tract- Rayonier Forest, $3,500,000
Hawaii, Kainalu Forest Watershed, $1,500,000
Iowa, Preparation Canyon, $1,315,000
Idaho, Bane Creek Neighbors, $2,465,000
Idaho, McArthur Lake Wildlife Corridor, $3,345,000
Mass., Metacomet-Monadnock Forest, $245,000
Mass., Southern Monadnock Plateau II, $1,120,000
Maine, Katahdin Forest Expansion, $3,700,000
Minn., Koochiching Forest Legacy, $3,000,000
Mont., Murray Douglas Conservation Easement, $2,900,000
N.H., Cardigan Highlands, $2,400,000
N.J., Musconetcong & Rockaway River Watersheds, $1,000,000
Nev., Castles-Bowers Mansion, $900,000
N.Y., Follensby Pond, $2,500,000
Ohio, Vinton furnace, $1,610,000
Ore., Skyline Forest, $2,500,000
S.C., Belfast, $3,250,000
Tenn., North Cumberland Conservation Area, $4,160,000
Texas, Longleaf Ridge, $1,820,000
U.S. Virgin Islands, Annaly Bay/Hermitage Valley, $1,500,000
Utah, Dry Lakes Ranch, $1,400,000
Va., Chowan River Headwaters, $2,240,000
Vt., Eden Forest, $2,200,000
Wash., Mt. St. Helens Forest, $2,500,000
Wis., Chippewa Flowage, 1,500,000
Wis., Wild Rivers, $2,330,000
W.Va., South Branch, $230,000
FLP grants help fund costs associated with the program, such as appraisals and land surveys. The Forest Legacy Program requires at least 25 percent of project costs come from private, state or local sources; however, it consistently leverages more than a 50 percent non-federal match. FLP lands that remain in private ownership continue to contribute tax revenue while providing ecological and open space benefits to people throughout the nation.
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 the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest 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 Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).