USDA SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL RECOVERY ACT FUNDING FOR FOREST SERVICE PROJECTS
$94 Million in Recovery Act Funds Will Help Restore Natural Resources and Enhance Public Safety and Health
WASHINGTON, August 18, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced additional funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for Forest Service projects in 36 states. These funds will help to restore natural resources while improving public safety and creating job opportunities in economically distressed areas. The 105 projects, funded at more than $94.6 million, are located on Federal, state, and private lands. To date, USDA has announced $1.03 billion of the $ 1.15 billion - or 89% - of funds authorized by ARRA for Forest Service projects.
"The Recovery Act projects announced today will help achieve the Obama Administration's goals of providing critical job opportunities for communities across Rural America, rebuilding our country's infrastructure and protecting natural resources," said Vilsack. "These projects will address public health and safety by helping create healthy ecosystems, clean water supplies, reduced wildfire risks to communities, and recreational opportunities for all Americans."
Last week, Vilsack outlined his vision for the future of our nation's forests and set forth a new direction for conservation, management, and restoration of these natural treasures. Many of the Recovery Act investments announced today will help further that goal of reducing catastrophic fires, disease and pests that have all led to declining forest health in recent decades.
Over $45 million will be made available for Wildland Fire Management projects on Federal lands and in cooperation with States, local governments, tribes, and private lands owners on their lands for the following types of projects: Ecosystem Restoration, Research, and Rehabilitation; Invasive Species Protection; Hazardous Fuels Reduction Activities; State Fire Assistance Projects; Biomass Utilization Grants; and Wood to Energy Grants. For example, a biomass utilization grant will reduce the fire risk around the community of Ruidoso, the last remaining mill in southern New Mexico that processes smaller diameter material and woody biomass removed through hazardous fuels reduction projects on nearby Federal, Tribal, state, and private lands. This project is a partnership with the Mescalero Forest Products, New Mexico State Forestry, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Additionally, $49 million will be provided for Capitol Improvement and Maintenance (CIM) projects which include the following types of projects: Abandoned Mine Lands Remediation; Facility Improvement, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation; Facility-Related Ecosystem/Watershed Enhancements related to road and trail maintenance; and Roads and Trails Maintenance and Decommissioning. For example, through a facility-related watershed enhancement project, long term restoration of two priority watersheds will be completed in Alaska. This project will stabilize and restore 5.5 miles of valuable salmon spawning habitat for Portland Chum Salmon, a major forest health indicator species on the Tongass National Forest. These watersheds support subsistence, recreational, and commercial fisheries vital to the rural economies of small remote communities in Alaska. Earlier work in these watersheds was done in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Capital Improvement and Maintenance and Wildland Fire Management Projects:
Alaska, 3 projects, $2,645,000
Alabama, 1 project, $5,000,000
Arkansas, 6 projects, $5,158,000
Arizona, 4 projects, $2,845,000
California, 3 projects, $1,595,000
Colorado, 1 project, $750,000
Florida, 4 projects, $2,435,000
Georgia, 2 projects, $1,051,000
Idaho, 2 projects, $2,088,000
Indiana, 1 project, $100,000
Kentucky, 1 project, $200,000
Michigan, 3 projects, $2,195,000
Minnesota, 1 project, $2,164,000
Mississippi, 3 projects, $2,020,000
Montana, 1 project, $3,100,000
North Carolina, 2 projects, $975,000
North Dakota, 1 project, $875,000
Nebraska, 1 project, $644,000
New Mexico, 16 projects, $20,452,000
Ohio, 1 project, $825,000
Oregon, 1 project, $6,825,000
Puerto Rico, 4 projects, $1,355,000
South Carolina, 4 projects, $1,757,000
South Dakota, 5 projects, $5,270,000
Tennessee, 1 project, $520,000
Utah, 9 projects, $5,630,000
Vermont, 1 project, $850,000
Washington, 2 projects, $520,000
Wisconsin, 4 projects, $3,279,000
West Virginia, 4 projects, $4,525,400
Wyoming, 11 projects, $6,375,000
Grand Total, 103 projects, $94,023,400
Multi-State Capital Improvement and Maintenance and Wildland Fire Management Projects:
Idaho; Nevada; Utah, 1 project, $500,000
Illinois; Indiana; Maine; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; New Hampshire; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Wisconsin; West Virginia, 1 project, $120,000
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