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Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership

Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership(en Espanol)

Under the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership (LRP), NRCS and the US Forest Service are working together to target conservation and restoration to measurably improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet to provide long-term benefits to natural resources and production.

In the Caribbean Area, NRCS, the US Forest Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) kicked off the Joint Chiefs’ Initiative with a reforestation project begun in Dec. 2017 in the wake of the devastation wreaked by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Entitled “Establish biological corridors and restore ecosystem functionality after the impact of a major hurricane in the Caribbean,” the Caribbean Area's first JCI project is in year two of its three-year project period. Initiative priorities are to:

  • Reduce and mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners;
  • Protect water quality and supply for communities and industry; and
  • Improve habitat quality for at-risk or ecosystem surrogate species.

Tree delivery to Finca Rancho AA in Sabana Grande-30 Aug 2019.The initiative focuses on establishing biological corridors and restoring ecosystem functionality post-hurricane in the central mountain range of western Puerto Rico. The project area includes the Río Grande de Añasco, Río Guanajibo, Río Culebrinas, Río Guajataca, Río Camuy and Río Grande de Arecibo watersheds. NRCS is working with the US Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) along with 10 other partners to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and soil health, mitigate wildfire threats, and improve habitat quality for at-risk species. The NRCS portion of the project allocates financial and technical assistance to eligible land and farmers from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to establish selected conservation practices on their land. Targeted practices include: multi-story cropping, silvopasture, tree/ shrub establishment, fire breaks, hedgerow planting, and windbreak/ shelterbelt establishment. Some accomplishments for this project over the past two years include:

NRCS and conservation partners deliver 1,088 shade trees to Milk Money Inc Dairy in Hatillo, PR, Aug. 16, 2019Trees distributed through the initiative (right) include:

  • Andira inermes (Cabbage bark tree)
  • Bucida buceras (Úcar, gre-gre, black olive)
  • Busera cimaruba (Almácigo, turpentine tree)
  • Clusia rosea (Cupey, autograph tree)
  • Cordia alliodora (Cápa Prieto, Spanish elm)
  • Cordia dentada (white manjack)
  • Inga laurina (Sacky sac bean)
  • Inga vera (River koko)
  • Pithecellobium arboreum (Wild tamarind)
  • Tabebuia heterophylla (Roble blanco, pink cedar)

Endangered Puerto Rican parrot, Sharp-shinned hawk, Broad-winged hawk, and Elfin woods warbler.The initiative targets four threatened, endemic bird species:

  • Puerto Rican parrot,
  • Elfin-woods Warbler,
  • Broad-winged Hawk, and
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk.

The success of the initiative will be measured primarily based on the amount of acreage enrolled in the program, the number of conservation plans developed, the growth and survival of trees planted for habitat restoration and enhancement purposes, the improvement of habitat quality, and the increase of suitable habitat for the four targeted species.

Required Land Uses

  • Crop
  • Forest
  • Farmstead
  • Pasture
  • Associated Agricultural Lands

Approved Natural Resource Concerns

  • Degraded Plant Condition
    • Undesirable plant productivity and health
    • Inadequate structure and composition
    • Excessive plant pest pressure
    • Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation
  • Insufficient Water
    • Inefficient moisture management
  • Water Quality Degradation
    • Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters
    • Excessive sediment in surface waters
    • Elevated water temperature
  • Inadequate Fish & Wildlife Habitat
    • Inadequate habitat - food
    • Inadequate habitat - cover / shelter
    • Inadequate habitat - water
    • Inadequate habitat - habitat continuity (space)

More Information

Contacts

  • Caribbean Area Project Coordinator, Edwin Más, at 787-831-3101 x 106
  • National EQIP Team Leader, Jeffery White, 202-690-2621
  • National Conservation Initiative Team Leader, Martin Lowenfish, 202-690-4979