NFWF and U.S. Forest Service Announce $3 Million in Grants for Southern California Forests and Watersheds
Projects will restore watersheds and improve forest resilience within the Angeles National Forest and Inyo National Forest
SAN FRANSICO (October 18, 2022) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), today announced $3 million in grants to restore watersheds and forests in the Angeles National Forest and the Inyo National Forest. The grants will leverage $1.5 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of $4.5 million.
The grants were awarded through the Southern California Forests and Watersheds Program, a partnership between NFWF, the Angeles National Forest and the U.S. Forest Service. This year, the program expanded to include building headwater resilience on the Inyo National Forest through funding from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.
“Our partnerships in Southern California with the U.S. Forest Service and LADWP are part of a comprehensive strategy to restore areas post-fire and provide headwater resilience to drinking water and resources important for fish and wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants in this slate directly support the restoration of important watersheds and resources in both the Inyo and Angeles National Forests.”
The projects supported by the seven grants announced today will enhance forest and watershed health within the National Forest System lands that were affected by the Copper, Sayre and Powerhouse fires in the Angeles National Forest, as well as help protect and enhance headwater conditions for the Owens River watershed in the Inyo National Forest. The projects will focus on improving forests and watersheds by maintaining native plant restoration, identifying and removing invasive species, developing educational and engagement opportunities, and assessing post-fire regeneration.
“Private and public partnerships are an important part of maintaining and improving watershed and forest health in California,” said Nancy Sutley, LADWP senior assistant general manager of external and regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer. “In the face of climate change, we, as a municipal utility, have an important responsibility to protect the environment where we operate, and these forest investments are a critical step in helping to improve water quality and water retention, sequester more carbon and decrease the threat of wildfires.”
“Shared stewardship relationships are a key component to restoring ecosystem health, providing for forest resilience, and minimizing the risk of loss from wildfire. Thanks to the investment through this partnership the Inyo National Forest has been able to further these efforts for the benefit of the public who are connected these lands,” said Nathan Sill, ecosystem services staff officer for the Inyo National Forest.
These projects will expand on current restoration efforts by propagating native plant species and will support future restoration actions by assessing and monitoring wildlife and biological resources. Evaluating the impact of wildfires on ecosystem services and biodiversity across the landscape is critical and necessary for providing insight for future management practices and will lay the foundation for effective conservation projects.
“The U.S. Forest Service and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation partnership expands the restoration work we are able to accomplish on the national forest each year by engaging with non-profits and leveraging Forest Service funds with grant-matching funds,” said Forest Supervisor Roman Torres of the Angeles National Forest. “It is a great way to advance and accelerate watershed restoration through public and private partnerships.”
The Southern California Forests and Watersheds program continues to support strategic partnerships to help protect, restore, and sustain the region’s diverse landscapes and the species and communities that rely on those lands.
A complete list of the 2022 grants made through the Southern California Forests and Watersheds program is available here.
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, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $7.4 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. 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 managed by the Forest Service 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 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.
LADWP is the nation’s largest municipal utility serving an average of 454 million gallons of water per day to the more than 4 million residents of Los Angeles, its businesses, and visitors. For more than 120 years, LADWP has provided the city with reliable water and power service in a cost effective and environmentally responsible manner. LADWP is guided by the five-member Board of Water and Power Commissioners, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. In addition to its investments in the Inyo National Forest, LADWP continues to advance numerous environmental restoration projects in the Eastern Sierra, including the Lower Owens River Project, Mono Lake stream and fishery restorations, a new adaptive management plan for the Bi-State Sage Grouse, and the ongoing Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program. Most recently, the LADWP Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the environmental documents for a spillway structure at Grant Lake Reservoir, which will deliver higher flows into the Mono Basin stream systems during wet years.
Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166, firstname.lastname@example.org