NFWF and U.S. Forest Service Announce $2.5 Million in Grants for Southern California Forests and Watersheds
Projects will restore watersheds and improve forest resilience within the Los Padres National Forest and the Angeles National Forest
SAN FRANCISCO (September 1, 2020) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) today announced $2.5 million in grants to restore watersheds and forests impacted by wildfires. These 11 projects will improve forest resilience and wildlife habitat on the Los Padres National Forest and the Angeles National Forest. The grants will generate $1.6 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $4.1 million.
The grants were awarded through the Southern California Forests and Watersheds program, a partnership between NFWF and the Los Padres National Forest, the Angeles National Forest and the U.S. Forest Service.
“The partnerships we have with both the Los Padres National Forest and the Angeles National Forest have enabled us to create a strategic program, which targets projects that have a high return on conservation,” said Jonathan Birdsong, director of NFWF’s western regional office. “The partnerships we have built with the forests and outside groups are bringing extra capacity and expertise to these fantastic public lands.”
The projects supported by the 11 grants announced today will enhance forest and watershed health within the National Forest System lands that were affected by the Copper, Jesusita, Piru, Powerhouse, and Zaca fires. The projects will focus on improving forests and watersheds by maintaining native plant restoration, reducing sedimentation to streams, identifying and removing invasive species, and restoring and managing trails.
“These groups who we are funding will provide not only excellent resource protection and restoration, but help us meet our conservation objectives for forest resilience and watershed health post-catastrophic fire,” said Los Padres National Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott. “We are thrilled with the work, professionalism, and enthusiasm these partners bring to our forest.”
In addition to restoration and management of these public lands, assessments will be conducted to gather information on the impact of wildfires on ecosystem services and biodiversity across the landscape. Filling information gaps is critical and necessary for providing insight for future management practices and will lay the foundation for effective conservation projects.
“As the backdrop to the Angeles basin, the Angeles National Forest has unique needs as we try to respond to catastrophic fires, which impact communities, fish and wildlife,” said Angeles National Forest Supervisor Jerry Perez. “These projects are a critical tool for us to build additional resilience in our headwaters, which is important for our visitors, residential communities, and watersheds important for fish and wildlife.”
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. Since 2015, the program has awarded $16.9 million to 80 projects to improve forest and watershed health and resilience. These projects have also generated more than $9 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of more than $25.9 million.
A complete list of the 2020 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 and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 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.
Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166