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News Release

Project in Kentucky Selected in a Multi-Year Partnership between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the US Forest Service (USFS)

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: 
Christy Morgan
Acting Public Affairs Specialist
859-224-7363

Improvements to the Triplett Creek Watershed will Improve Forest Health and Reduce Wildfire Risk

Lexington, KY (2/6/14): U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie announced today a multi-year partnership between the NRCS and the USFS to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems across the nation. 

The announcement came from Helena, Montana but included the Triplett Creek Watershed in Rowan County, Kentucky.  The project, called the Chiefs' Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership, will invest $30 million in 13 projects across the country this year to help mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and supply and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.

“Both of these agencies have the same goal – improving the health of our forest lands,” NRCS Acting State Conservationist for NRCS Clifford Thornton said. “By combining resources and working in a coordinated fashion, this partnership will restore lands across large landscapes regardless of ownership.”

The Triplett Creek watershed area has had an increase in the occurrence of wildfires for the past 20 years.  Weather events have impacted the area as well causing a tree density that threatens the safety of firefighters.  A large part of the Triplett Creek Watershed is classified as Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) with private homes immediately adjacent to National Forest lands. 

The project will involve management of the private lands through the development of species specific canopy and creation of early successional habitat and edge feathering to benefit wildlife.  Timber stand improvement practices, woodland creation and grassland restoration will aid in restoring rare wildlife communities and improve the safety conditions for firefighters.  Project plans also include road maintenance in this area increasing firefighter and public access to the remote WUI areas. 

“Wildfires and water quality don’t stop at boundaries between public and private lands,” Clifford said. “By working together, we can provide more assistance to help public and private landowners and managers put conservation solutions on the ground, providing greater benefits to surrounding communities.”

 

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