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2017 New Project Summaries – Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership

Alaska - Prince of Wales Island Landscape Restoration Partnership (Tongass National Forest)

The project will focus on 29 multi-jurisdictional watersheds with assessments and activities targeted toward improvements in water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, timber stands, recreation and economic viability.  The USFS also will work to improve subsistence opportunities on federal public lands.

Partners Include: Sealaska Corporation, Haida Corporation, The Hydaburg Cooperative Association, City of Hydaburg, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and Prince of Wales Island Watershed Council

Total FY 2017 Funding - $490,197       NRCS - $98,000      Forest Service - $392,197


California - Central Sierra Recovery and Restoration Project (Sierra National Forest)

The project area encompasses the front country of the Sierra National Forest (Sierra NF); covering 441,715 acres of National Forest, private ranches and timberlands, organizational camps, recreation residences and 12 isolated communities and subdivisions.  The primary goals of the project are community wildfire protection, restoration of ecological processes and initiation of a landscape-level response to the ongoing tree mortality epidemic.

Partners Include: Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Department of Water Resources, Highway 168 Firesafe Council, Fresno County Office of Emergency Services and Public Works, CalFire, Mariposa County Fire Safe Council, Mariposa Biomass Workgroup, Mariposa Office of Emergency Services, Sierra Resource Conservation District (North Fork Biomass Facility), Coarsegold Resource Conservation District, Mariposa Resource Conservation District, Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council, Mariposa County Office of Emergency Services and Public Works, Pacific Gas & Electric Company Vegetation Management; Pacific Gas & Electric Company – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Hydro Division, Cal Trans-Div6&10, Southern California Edison - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Hydro Division, Southern California Edison -Vegetation Management.

Total FY 2017 Funding - $3,370,911  NRCS - $1,571,567   Forest Service- $1,799,344


Michigan - Partnering for Watershed Restoration of Lake Superior (Ottawa National Forest)

The Partnering for Watershed Restoration of Lake Superior is a landscape-scale restoration project covering the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the heart of the Lake Superior watershed. This project is part of a Partners for Watershed Restoration, a larger partnership effort that has expanded over the past four years. This project is designed to increase forest resiliency by reducing wildfire threats through extensive outreach, fuel reduction, and stand management on private and tribal lands; provide abundant clean water for all residential, recreational and industrial needs; and to improve and restore at-risk fish and aquatic species habitat on federal and private forest lands.

Partners Include: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Superior Watershed Partnership, Keweenaw Land Trust, Iron-Baraga Conservation District, Gogebic Conservation District, Central Upper Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area, Ruffed Grouse Society, Superior Watershed Partnership and The Nature Conservancy

Total FY 2017 Funding - $176,400  (Forest Service)


Nebraska - Northwest Landscape Restoration (Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands)

The Nebraska Northwest Landscape Restoration Area lies within the large footprint of the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands (NNFG) in northwest/north central portion of Nebraska. The grasslands and native pine forests of western Nebraska are an interconnected system that contain six designated biologically unique landscapes. Six major ecosystems converge, providing a home for about 160 plant and animal species. Project goals include reducing the threat of wildfires within designated wildland urban interfaces (WUIs) of the Pine Ridge area, reducing future stand-replacing wildfires, and reducing invasive eastern red cedars. Restoration activities across both public and private lands will be aimed at creating a more wildfire defensible WUI landscape; improving undesirable forested conditions, and the widespread encroachment of ERC across northwest/central Nebraska.

Partners Include: Private landowners, Nebraska Forest Service (State), Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District, Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District, Upper Loup Natural Resources District, Nebraska Conservation Roundtable, National Wild Turkey Federation, Nebraska Legacy Project, Nation Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - Pine and Ridge Project Advisory Committees.

Total FY 2017 Funding - $874,746       NRCS - $547,336  Forest Service: $327,410


Oregon - Salmon Superhwy Basin Management Project (Siuslaw National Forest)

The Salmon Superhwy (SSH) Basin Management Project is proposing to restore and improve habitat for the endangered coho salmon and other migratory fish and wildlife species, protect water quality, increase forest health, and support local communities through economic development, increasing infrastructure resiliency and reducing fire risk. The project area encompasses the Nestucca and Tillamook Bay watersheds, which lie in the northern Oregon coast range in central and south Tillamook County.  This proposal builds on the existing Salmon Superhwy initiative that aims to fully address fish passage needs throughout the North Oregon Coast salmon sub-basin, improving watershed forest health, increasing storm resiliency and mitigating fire risk. Historic habitat will be reconnected, chronic flooding reduced, riparian corridors replanted, and recreation opportunities improved, all while stimulating the local economy.

Partners Include: Tillamook County, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Nestucca-Neskowin-Sand Lake Watersheds Council, Tillamook Bay Watershed Council, Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Fish Passage Task Force, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Trout Unlimited

Total FY 2017 Funding - $412,855       NRCS- $250,000   Forest Service - $162,855


Oregon - North Warner Multi-Ownership Forest Health Project (Freemont-Winema National Forest)

The North Warner Landscape covers 410,000 acres where private landowners and agencies are working across ownership boundaries to promote forest health and fire resiliency.  This unique landscape contains extensive stands of old legacy ponderosa pine intermixed with aspen and meadows, with greater sage grouse focal habitat adjacent to the north and east. The landscape is at a severe risk of uncharacteristically intense disturbance due to heavy fuel loading and stand densities which would result in loss of old legacy ponderosa pine and greater sage grouse focal habitat.  USDA and its partners will use project funding for forest health treatments through commercial harvest, small tree thinning, and slash treatments on federal and private lands.      

Partners Include: Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Lakeview Stewardship Group, Klamath Lake Forest Health Partnership, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, private landowners, Oregon State University Extension, Lake Country Watershed Council, Lake County Commissioners, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Soil and Water Conservation, Collins Pine, Lake County Resources Initiative, Mule Deer Foundation, Ruby Mitigation Funds.

Total FY 2017 Funding - $1,149,283       NRCS: $796,199     Forest Service- $353,084 


Pennsylvania - Sustaining Pennsylvania’s Oak Ecosystems through Partnership in Forest Management – (Allegheny National Forest)

The northern tier of Pennsylvania is home to one of the largest contiguous forest land areas in the eastern U.S. Oak-hickory, oak-pine, and maple-beech-birch can be found there. The majority of wildfires that threaten lives and property in Pennsylvania occur in oak ecosystems due to their pyric nature and decades of fuel buildup. The proposal area contains miles of pristine streams and canvasses 4.6 million acres of watersheds with greatly reduced brook trout populations.  These systems feed into the Ohio River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.  The resulting cumulative benefits will help project partners meet mutual management objectives of maintaining a diversity of forest age classes and species to sustain forest ecosystems that are resilient to stressors. This, in turn, will improve habitat quality for at-risk species, protect water quality and supplies, and reduce and mitigate the threat of wildfire.

Partners Include: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources –Bureau of Forestry, Pennsylvania Game Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, National Wild Turkey Federation, U.S. Forest Service-Northern Research Station, U.S. Forest Service-Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.

Total FY 2017 Funding - $1,074,030     NRCS - $350,000    Forest Service- $724,030


Utah - Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystems Restoration Project (Fishlake National Forest)

This project proposes to restore aspen ecosystems on Monroe Mountain. State and local agencies, nonprofit groups, and the Richfield Ranger District will work together to address conifer encroachment across the Monroe Mountain area that occurs because of reduced occurrence of wildland fire.  The project also seeks to address aspen over-browsing by domestic and wild hoofed animals such as horses, pigs and deer, underlying causes for aspen decline on Monroe Mountain.  Restoring aspen ecosystems in the project area will reduce and mitigate wildfire threats to several communities and landowners, protect water quality and water supply for communities and industries, and improve habitat quality for at-risk and ecosystem species.

Partners Include: Utah Division of Forestry – Fire and State Lands (TA), State and Private Forestry Western Competitive Resource Allocation Funding, Western States Fire Management Grant, Utah's Watershed Restoration Initiative, Monroe Mountain Working Group, Grazing Improvement Program, Brigham Young University and Utah State University, Grand Canyon Trust, Livestock Permittees, and Secure Rural Schools.

Total FY 2017 Funding - $434,107        NRCS - $58,342   Forest Service- $375,765                                                                                                     

Virginia - Lower Cowpasture Restoration Project (George Washington and Jefferson National Forests)

The Lower Cowpasture Restoration Project will fully integrate treatments across federal, state and private lands in a biologically rich and priority watershed. The project proposes to restore the health, diversity and resiliency of fire-adapted forests and rare plant communities while working to decrease the risk of wildfire to adjacent communities; improve habitat for declining early successional birds and other species important to Virginia; improve water quality, function and connectivity of streams and full passage of aquatic organisms, including surrogate species such as brook trout and other rare fish and mussel species; and remove non-native invasive plant species while restoring native plant diversity to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators.

Partners Include: Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District, Virginia Wilderness Committee, American Chestnut Foundation, Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Virginia Forestry Association, Society of American Foresters (Virginia); Dabney Lancaster Community College (Forestry Technology); Virginia Wildlife Habitat Coalition, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Virginia Department of Transportation

Total FY 2017 Funding - $523,984      NRCS - $150,000    Forest Service- $373,984


West Virginia - Appalachian Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (Monongahela National Forest)

The project area includes five watersheds that form the headwaters of the Potomac and Ohio rivers. The landscape supports several ecosystems that are critical reservoirs of biodiversity in eastern North America, including coldwater trout streams, red spruce forests, oak-hickory forests, and northern hardwood forests. The partners are proposing to restore red spruce forests, mined lands, watersheds, and aquatic habitat, fire-adapted oak-hickory forests, early successional habitat, and various working landscapes on private and public land. USDA and its partners will focus on restoring and re-connecting various ecosystems that support this biodiversity, while offering opportunities to boost the local economy.

Partners Include: Trout Unlimited, Green Forests Work, American Forests, Ruffed Grouse Society, Canaan Valley Institute and The Nature Conservancy

Total FY 2017 Funding -$1,561,896    NRCS - $1,035,284    Forest Service - $526,612