Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that $224 million has been released for 110 hazardous fuels reduction and ecosystem improvement projects. The funds are from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the projects are located on forested lands in over 26 states and territories.
"President Obama's efforts will provide for public health and safety by reducing the risk of wildland fire near communities in the wildland urban interface and will restore healthy forests" said Vilsack. "These projects provide benefits to current and future generations, including improved water quality and quantity, healthy forests that provide clean air, and recreation opportunities while reducing wildfire risks."
Reducing the volume of hazardous fuels on Federal forests and grasslands and on lands owned by States, local governments, private organizations, and individual land owners through financial assistance and partnership agreements are some of the hazardous fuels activities included. Ecosystem improvement activities, which are designed to improve and protect forest health, include thinning, removal of competing vegetation, planting native species, and constructing new stream channels and ponds.
A listing of projects and information on other Forest Service ARRA projects and related economic recovery can be found at: http://fs.usda.gov/recovery.