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Press Release

USDA Joint Chiefs’ Funding Asks for Project Proposals to Improve Forest Health in California and Hawaii

Fighting wildfires in California

The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California are seeking proposals for the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership to improve forest health on public and private lands.

VALLEJO, Calif., June 13, 2022 — The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California are seeking proposals for the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership to improve forest health on public and private lands.

Proposals from partners are due no later than Aug. 5, 2022, for fiscal year 2023. Selected projects will be announced in late fall 2022.  

The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership enables the Forest Service and NRCS to collaborate with agricultural producers and forest landowners to invest in conservation and restoration at a scale large enough to make a difference. Partnering at this scale helps reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.

“We are interested in project proposals that align with our Wildfire Crisis Strategy and other landscape efforts across California to help our partners and us reduce hazardous fuels and protect wildland communities across the state,” said Jennifer Eberlien, Regional Forester for the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region.

Joint Chiefs’ project proposals are developed with the Forest Service, NRCS and partners. Partnerships will depend on the specific community needs of each project. Proposals are reviewed at multiple levels in the agencies based on local, state, Tribal and regional priorities. 

“We are seeking project proposals that will implement conservation practices on agricultural land and forest health improvements on private forestland, while also helping wildland communities achieve wildfire resiliency,” said Carlos Suarez, State Conservationist for NRCS in California. 

This partnership aligns with the Administration’s broader effort to reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species. Most recently, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law codified the initiative and its once-in-a-generation investment to improve infrastructure and rural communities.

Two projects were chosen in Northern California and one in Hawaii in fiscal year 2022, investing millions in strategic efforts on the chosen landscapes.

Landowners should contact their local NRCS and Forest Service office for more information. For questions related to NRCS, please contact Chris Zimny at chris.zimny@usda.gov, and for Forest Service, please contact Michelle Barry at michelle.barry@usda.gov.

The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.

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