Klamath National Forest and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Secure $5.2 million from State to help protect communities and watersheds from catastrophic fire

YREKA, CA (August 21, 2018) ​​– The Klamath National Forest (KNF) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) received notice from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) that $5.2 million has been awarded to fund the implementation of the Craggy Vegetation Project located just west of Yreka and Hawkinsville. This project was selected as a part of CAL FIRE’s Forest Health California Climate Investments Grant Program.  

The Craggy Vegetation Project was developed in conjunction with CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit and the Yreka Fire Safe Council to improve fire resilience and forest health conditions on National Forest lands adjacent to the communities of Yreka and Hawkinsville. Project actions were also designed to improve watershed conditions and enhance habitat for deer, wild turkey, and sensitive plant species found in the area. The project will treat approximately 11,310 acres within the 29,500 acre project area. 

“Receiving the grant to accomplish this extremely important work was tremendous news,” said Patricia Grantham, Supervisor for the Klamath National Forest. “Developing the project and grant proposal was a collaborative effort that included NFWF, the US Forest Service, CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit, Siskiyou County, the City of Yreka, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. My staff and I will be working with NFWF to implement this project as soon as possible.”

The project is designed to improve defensibility to wildfire while improving fire resiliency.  Reducing forest fuels and forest density would result in increased carbon sequestration, forest health, and forest resilience to large and severe wildfires that are anticipated to occur if no action is taken. The project works with the Yreka Fire Safe Council and supports the purpose and intent of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The fire safe council has identified an additional 1,330 acres of fuels treatments adjacent to the communities of Yreka and Hawkinsville on private lands that will supplement the Craggy Project treatments. The combined actions on Federal and Private lands would meet the goals and standards of treatment within the Wildland Urban Interface to reduce wildfire flame lengths to less than four feet, which decreases threats to communities and damaging fire effects, and allows for effective fire suppression.  Results of treatments is expected to affect fire behavior far outside the treatment units, as well.

“I am thrilled to work with Supervisor Grantham and the other local leaders who made this project possible,” said Jonathan Birdsong, Western Regional Director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “It is these kinds of federal-state-local partnerships that not only help protect watersheds and communities, but lead the state on the art of the possible as it relates to forest health and community wildfire protection.”

CAL FIRE will issue a grant agreement to NFWF in September and will administer the funding to the Klamath National Forest as the projects are implemented. The Forest Service has four years to complete the project under the grant.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $4.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service​, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, 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 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the U.S. Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.