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$1 million win for Washington forests

Posted by bchristensen at Feb 03, 2012 07:45 AM |

Washington forests and economies got a boost yesterday. The USDA announced almost $1 million for a forest restoration vision that will enable Conservation Northwest and our partners in the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition to restore the Kettle Range to a healthier forest, better for wildlife and people, and more prepared to adapt to a changing climate. We are thrilled to see these worthy projects funded, and to see restoration, stewardship, and collaboration once again in the national spotlight.

$1 million win for Washington forests

Yesterday, the USDA announced almost $1 million for a forest restoration vision that will enable Conservation Northwest and our partners in the NE WA Forestry Coalition to restore the Kettle Range to a healthier forest, better for wildlife.

Washington forests and economies got a boost yesterday. The USDA announced $1 million in funding that will enable Conservation Northwest and our partners in the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition to restore the Kettle Range to a healthier forest, better for wildlife and communities, and more resilient in a changing climate.

We are thrilled to see this worthy vision funded and to see restoration, stewardship, and collaboration once again in the national spotlight.

In his announcement, Secretary Vilsack revisited themes in his major 2009 speech on the future of our national forests. He highlighted that these forests are vital to the nation’s supply of clean water and other resources and face major challenges that call for a new vision of collaborative restoration. His vision for conservation and restoration resonated deeply with Mitch's own call for an ecological "Marshall Plan" for our national forests.

In that 2009 speech, Secretary Vilsack called out the collaborative work on the Colville National Forest as a model for the nation.  In 2012, a million dollars for restoration in the Columbia Highlands puts those props into practice on the ground.

With the announcement of funding in northeast Washington and across the US, came the release of a special report, Increasing the pace of Restoration and Job Creation on our National Forests. The report lays out a plan to increase restoration on national forests through efforts such as expanding collaborative partnerships like our model coalition, expanding stewardship contracting, and improving the efficiency of restoration project planning.

"Accelerated restoration efforts demonstrate a shared vision where environmentalists, forest industry and local communities are working together to build healthier forests and contribute to local economies," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "The increased restoration work will benefit the environment and people, with more resilient ecosystems, improved watersheds and wildlife habitat, hazardous fuel reduction, and outputs of forest products."

And the win goes beyond northeast Washington. Our work with the Tapash Collaborative, focused on critical restoration efforts in the Cascades, received renewed funding this year, too. Tapash projects include controlled reintroduction of fire to reestablish a fire ecology, improved roads and trails, and better fish passage on almost 168,000 acres in the GIfford-Pinchot and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests.

[More of the Columbia Highlands collaboration story, on film]
[Funded restoration projects across the US, press release]

 

 

 

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Forest restoration

Posted by Doris Lee at Feb 25, 2012 11:14 AM
This is the best news for the nation in a long time. Thank you, Mitch and thers who made it possible.

Restoration $

Posted by leroy at Mar 19, 2012 04:33 PM
One good thing about the money is that it can't be used on planning (NEPA). But I wonder if there is any approved NEPA on the Colville National Forest to obligate these dollars to?

Restoration $

Posted by David Heflick at Mar 20, 2012 11:42 AM
Yes, there are plenty of good projects to use these dollars for. Conservation Northwest, Northeast Washington Foresty Coalition, and the Colville National Forest are currently collaborating to select and prioritize these projects. Stay tuned...

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