WASHINGTON, DC—The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, managed by the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, will solicit for fiscal year 2019 projects starting today with a deadline of October 19. The JCLRP represents the spirit behind the OneUSDA concept and increases collaboration among federal agencies and private partners to support America’s landowners with tools and assistance that improve their agricultural operations.
The JCLRP aims to reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species. By leveraging the technical and financial resources of both agencies, as well as a diverse group of partners, this coordinated effort is helping to restore lands at a meaningful scale across land ownerships. Since the inception of the JCLRP in 2014, there have been 63 projects spanning 38 states and Puerto Rico. Each project has a three-year life span, enabling national forests to work with their partners on longer scale high priority projects. This multi-year partnership between the Forest Service and NRCS is the only landscape level initiative that directly funds the achievement of meaningful outcomes by improving the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation.
In the spirit of recognizing that all lands must be treated to help return the landscape to a more natural condition, the JCLRP provides incentives for private landowners, who often lack resources to accomplish restoration work, thus increasing healthy ecosystems on the landscape and reducing wildfire risk. Over 2000 Environmental Quality Incentive Program contracts have been approved to support private landowners with implementing conservation activities on over 200,000 acres. Along with providing landowners direct assistance, completed and ongoing projects have supported nearly 460 jobs for small business and nonprofit groups.
Since the beginning, the Forest Service and NRCS have invested over $207 million in Joint Chiefs’ projects, which focus on areas where public forests and grasslands intersect with privately owned lands. Working together with all stakeholders is key to the successful outcome of JCLRP; and federal, state and local partners have contributed over $32 million in financial and in-kind contributions toward JCLRP project implementation.
JCLRP activities on national forests and private lands have been outstanding, and their existence helps highlight the important work being done across the nation. Some of the project accomplishments include over 300,000 acres of National Forest System lands treated for hazardous fuels, over 29,000 acres of watershed restored, over 200,000 acres of wildlife habitat improved, and 724 miles of streams treated to improve aquatic habitat.
With the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership beginning its sixth year it is only expected that the great work and collaboration being carried out between federal, state and private organizations will continue on with great success.