WASHINGTON, JULY 26, 2012 AT 4:15 PM EDT - The US Forest Service reduced fire threats on more than 123,000 acres of land nationwide in fiscal year 2011 as part of a larger effort to improve the health and resiliency of national forests.
In its second year of funding, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program also contributed $21 million to local economies through treatments that included prescribed burns and fuels thinning, producing 121 million board feet of lumber and 267,000 tons of woody biomass for bio-energy production on ten projects around the country.
As a vital program supporting the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, this program promotes community-based conservation, advances job and volunteer opportunities related to conservation and outdoor recreation and builds upon existing partnerships to meet local and regional conservation goals.
The following provides highlights from the ten projects around the country that had funding in FY11:
- The Southwestern Crown Collaborative treated more than 4,200 acres of hazardous fuels on the Flathead, Lolo and Helena national forests in Montana, which also produced 6,400 tons of woody biomass.
The Selway Middle Fork project treated more than 20,000 acres of hazardous fuels on the Nez Perce Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests in Idaho, yielding 7.8 million board feet of lumber.
- The Uncompahgre Plateau Project on Colorado’s Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests treated more than 6,000 acres using prescribed burns and mechanical thinning.
- The Front Range project on the Pike and Isabel, Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests improved more than 5,300 acres of forest vegetation and reduced fire threats of 8,200 acres of area in the wildland urban interface.
- The Four Forest Restoration Project on the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab and Tonto national forest improved forest vegetation, restored habitat on 111,000 acres and emphasized identifying and beginning major rehabilitation work on areas impacted by the Wallow and Schultz fires.
- In New Mexico, the Southwest Jemez Mountains Project improved more than 17,000 acres of rangeland and upgraded or maintained 77 miles of roads on the Santa Fe National Forest and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
- The Dinkey Lake Landscape Restoration Project in the Sierra National Forest treated hazardous fuels on more than 4,000 acres of forest, most within the wildland urban interface, yielding nearly 8 million board feet of lumber.
- In Oregon, the Deschutes Collaborative Forest used prescribed burns and mechanical thinning to produce more than 29,000 tons of woody biomass and more than 8 million board feet of lumber. The project also maintained 183 miles of trails mostly through volunteer efforts.
- The Tapash Project restored or enhanced nearly 3,000 acres of terrestrial habitat on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington. The project also produced 35,200 tons of woody biomass using hazardous fuel reduction treatments.
On Florida’s Osceola National Forest, the Accelerating Longleaf Restoration Project treated hazardous fuels in more than 34,000 acres of forest, most of which was in the wildland urban interface, to produce more than 12.6 million board feet of lumber.