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Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership

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USDA’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service are working in partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation. 

Background

In 2014, the Chiefs of the US Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service established the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership to leverage investments and facilitate efforts by state and local municipalities, tribes, and other partners to restore landscapes, reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water resources and enhance wildlife habitat. The vision is to get communities involved in making the landscape more resilient to threats, regardless of land ownership.

These projects build on existing efforts and partnerships. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and FS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds.

In Washington, the "Northeast Washington Initiative" was selected for funding in 2014, and received project-continuation funds in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2016, the "All Lands, All Hands: Building Resilient Landscapes and Fire Adapted Communities in Washington’s East Cascades" project was one of 11 new projects selected across the nation.  Below are summaries of the two Washington projects.

Northeast Washington Initiative

The initiative, also known as the Northeast Washington Fuels Reduction Collaboration, recognizes that northeast Washington has areas of worsening forest health conditions due to overcrowded, damaged trees that are susceptible to increased harm from insects, disease and wildfire. In 2014, over 400,000 acres burned in wildfires in Washington State, more than six times greater than the five-year average. Thirty-seven of the wildfires were categorized as large wildfires.  Between 2000 and 2010, insects and diseases damaged 1.3 million acres per year in Washington, more than 1.5 times the annual average of the 1990s. Homes, developments and communities are increasingly interspersed within fire-prone landscapes, compounding fire impacts and presenting a danger to public safety.

This project will reduce and mitigate wildfire threats to Colville National Forest land and adjacent private property in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. Accomplishing this work will also protect water quality and supply for communities and industry and protect habitat quality.

Financial and Technical Assistance

The Forest Service in Colville National Forest, NRCS and Washington Department of Natural Resources will work together to reduce the threat and impacts of wildfire by offering technical and financial assistance.  For fiscal year 2016, USFS has $676,800 to reduce fuel loading which will also improve general forest health through thinning on the National Forest; NRCS has $500,000 to provide financial assistance to non-industrial private landowner reduce ground and ladder fuels by thinning, pruning and treating forest slash, as well as provide wildlife habitat and the WA DNR has $350,000 to provide financial assistance to small forest landowners for forest management plans, thinning, pruning and forest slash treatment.  

NRCS will be focusing most of our efforts on assisting non-industrial forest landowners who have parcels 20 acres and more or wish to address wildlife habitat in conjunction with fuels reduction. NRCS will be offering the following program practices under the program:

  • 383 Fuel Break
  • 666 Forest Stand Improvement
  • 660 Tree & Shrub Pruning
  • 384 Woody Residue Treatment
  • 645 Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • 649 Structures for Wildlife

WA DNR will be focusing most of their efforts in assisting small forest landowners who need a Forest Management Plan, have parcels less than 20 acres or wish to burn their forest slash.  WA DNR will be offering thinning, pruning, treatment of forest slash and forest management plans.  

Who should apply?

View map of project priority areas here.

  • Priority will be given to those non-industrial private forestlands, including Tribal forestlands that are within or within close proximity of the two highlighted USFS project areas (highlighted with purple boundaries on project priority map) and the one WA DNR project area (highlighted with a red boundary).
  • Second priority will be given to the non-industrial private forestlands, including Tribal forestland, within the individual County’s (Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties) CWPP areas designated with the various shades of browns and yellow on the on linked maps.  
  • The final priority will be given to the non-industrial private forest land, including Tribal lands within the gray and white areas of the above county’s CWPP maps.  

How to Apply

Non-industrial private forest landowners are welcome to contact and work with either NRCS or WA DNR for technical or financial assistance. 

Media

Read the press release here.

Contact

Karla Ware
District Conservationist
North East Washington Team
karla.ware@wa.usda.gov
(509) 685-0858 x115

 

Washington – All Lands, All Hands: Building Resilient Landscapes and Fire Adapted Communities in Washington’s East Cascades

A partnership of 30 organizations has been working to address the increasing threats facing the East Cascades from severe wildfire and insect outbreaks. This project will build upon existing collaborative efforts to improve landscape resiliency and forest health in order to reduce community risk across three project areas. Project activities will focus on implementing forestry and aquatic projects on public lands, as well as funding strategic fuels reduction and habitat restoration projects on private, tribal and state lands. Overall, these activities will contribute to an increased pace and scale of restoration across the region, while enhancing habitat and protecting water quality and quantity.

This project will reduce and mitigate wildfire threats to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest land and adjacent private property and tribal lands in Chelan, Kittitas and Okanogan counties. Accomplishing this work will also protect water quality and supply for communities and industry and protect habitat quality.

Financial and Technical Assistance

NRCS will be focusing our efforts on assisting non-industrial forest landowners who wish to complete fuels reduction projects or restore their property after a fire. Priority treatment areas include, but are not limited to, the following communities; Canyons, Chumstick, Leavenworth and Plain in Chelan County; Cle Elum, Hidden Valley, South Cle Elum, and Teanaway in Kittitas County; Mazama, Havillah, Wauconda, Aeneas Valley, Tunk, Bonaparte and Synarep in Okanogan County (View Maps Here).

Priority will be given to the areas in the maps referenced above, those adjacent to previous treatments on public and private properties, and recognized Firewise® communities.

NRCS will be offering the following practices under the program:

  • 342 Critical Area Planting
  • 383 Fuel Break
  • 391 Riparian Forest Buffer
  • 612 Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • 666 Forest Stand Improvement
  • 660 Tree & Shrub Pruning
  • 384 Woody Residue Treatment
  • 645 Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • 649 Structures for Wildlife

Partners: Washington Department of Natural Resources; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; The Nature Conservancy; Cascadia, Kittitas County, and Okanogan Conservation Districts; Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative; Yakama Nation; National Forest Foundation; Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network; Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition and North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative.

Media

View the program boundary maps here.

Contact

Sarah Troutman
District Conservationist
1251 S. 2nd Ave, Ste 101
Okanogan, WA 98840
sarah.troutman@wa.usda.gov
(509) 422-2750 ext. 3