USDA Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will challenge a host of local, state and national agencies to take the first step toward making critical integrated investments in water, flood and pollution prevention improvements in the Los Angeles area.
Demonstrating the Forest Service’s commitment and support to water infrastructure improvement, Dombeck will present a $50,000 grant to TreePeople to begin the inter-agency planning process. The grant presentation is scheduled for Monday, 11 a.m., Open Charter School, 5544 West 77th Street, Westchester, Calif.
“Everyone needs water; clean water, and all the benefits that flow from it,” said Dombeck. “One of the challenges of the next century will be the increasing competition for limited water supplies, which is common to a lot of municipalities in this part of the country.”
Watershed maintenance and restoration are a top priority for the Forest Service. Healthy watersheds are resilient in the face of natural events such as floods, fire and drought and are more capable of absorbing the effects of human-induced disturbances.
The benefits of investing in watershed restoration and maintenance are many. The integrated efforts put forth in the demonstration projects, such as those led by TreePeople, help weave a seamless tapestry that transcends the boundary lines of forests, states and municipalities. National forests in California comprise 20 percent of the state's land but produce about 50 percent of California's runoff. Nationally, forested lands comprise about one-third of the nation's land area and supply about two-thirds of the total U.S., runoff. National Forest lands are the largest single source of water in the continental United States.
“By focusing on areas of agreement and integrated approaches to water quality improvement, we can bring people together to restore the soil, water and air upon which we and future generations will depend,” concluded Dombeck.
For more information about TreePeople, contact Leslie Mylius, (818) 623-4864.