NFWF and USDA Forest Service Announce $7 Million in Grants to Restore National Forests Impacted by Historic Wildfires
Projects will conserve watersheds and ecosystems within the Los Padres National Forest and the Angeles National Forest
SAN FRANCISCO (December 19, 2019) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the USDA Forest Service today announced $7 million in grants for the recovery of lands and watersheds degraded from the influences of past wildfire events within the Los Padres National Forest and the Angeles National Forest. The grants will generate $4.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $11.5 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 USDA Forest Service. A complete list of the 2019 grants made through the Southern California Forests and Watersheds program is available at www.nfwf.org/socal.
“The grants made through this instrumental partnership with the USDA Forest Service will benefit important endemic species such as southern California steelhead and bigcone Douglas-fir,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants will also improve opportunities for access and education on public lands, and support the USFS in its efforts to manage landscapes for resilience to future fire.”
The 23 grants will develop and implement innovative solutions to improve forest heath within the National Forest System lands that were affected by the Zaca (2007), Piru (2003), Jesusita, Copper (2009), Sayre (2008) and Powerhouse (2008) fires. The projects receiving grants will restore aquatic organism passages, remove invasive species, and reduce sediment input to streams to improve watershed conditions and support endangered species populations.
“The grants awarded through this program help support invaluable relationships between the USFS and our partners that allow us to increase the pace and scale of post-fire restoration, both now and in the future,” said Los Padres National Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott.
The projects will expand on current restoration efforts by propagating native plant species and will support future restoration actions by assessing and evaluating forest stand composition and habitats. Grantees will also take into consideration current methodologies in place to ensure quality restoration recommendations.
Through these projects, grantees will provide volunteer opportunities to community members to encourage community stewardship. Educating the public on the impact and history of the fires is important to increasing awareness and understanding of the causes and impacts of fire in this region.
“We are excited to offer these opportunities for grantees to engage with us in the management of our public lands,” said Angeles National Forest Supervisor Jerome Perez. “These projects expand our fire recovery capacity and assist our ability to serve the diverse and important public uses our National Forests provide.”
The Southern California Forest 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. This program will release its next funding opportunity in January 2020.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the natio’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 $5.3 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the USDA 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.