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Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces $4.86M in Forest and Watershed Grants

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation today announced that $4.86 million will be available in grants to restore watersheds degraded from past wildfire events. This funding is made possible through a partnership NFWF has with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region.

In addition, the program announced that more than $800,000 in new funding this year for targeted fish passage barrier and watershed infrastructure projects on the Klamath National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Six Rivers National Forest.

“It is very good news that this year we are able to expand our partnership with the Forest Service to not only remove hazardous fuels and restore watersheds after fire, but also to fund grants that will remove stream barriers in order to improve watershed and aquatic health,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF.

“This new funding will add hundreds of miles of currently inaccessible habitat for the benefit of fish and wildlife.”

The Eldorado National Forest and Lassen National Forest have partnered with NFWF to restore the watersheds and ecosystems affected by the Power and Storrie fires. The Klamath National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Six Rivers National Forest have also partnered with NFWF to restore fish passage barriers and watershed infrastructure.

Through this program, NFWF will invest in projects that:

Provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits to watersheds
Promote ecological resilience to the forest/watersheds
Provide additional efficiency and innovation to improve forest health
Repair critical infrastructure such as trails, stream crossings and roads that benefit fish and wildlife.

The USFS and NFWF released the Spring 2019 Request for Proposals Wednesday. Further details on the Spring 2019 Request for Proposals and associated public open houses is now available on NFWF’s website at www.nfwf.org/norcal. Funding will be awarded to projects through the Northern California Forests and Watersheds grant program. The program anticipates releasing its second year of grant awards in August 2019 and will continue with subsequent annual award cycles.

The 2004 Power Fire on the Eldorado National Forest burned 14,000 acres in the Mokelumne River watershed. The 2000 Storrie Fire on the Lassen National Forest burned 27,000 acres in the North Fork Feather River watershed and the Butte Creek watershed, along with 25,000 acres on the Plumas National Forest. Combined, these two fires burned more than 65,000 acres of national forest lands and left a significant impact on the landscapes, watersheds and ecosystems of the region.

Together, the Klamath National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Six Rivers National Forest National Forest account for more than 5 million acres of National Forest lands, which is roughly equivalent to the size of Connecticut and Delaware combined. They are also home to many fish and wildlife species important for local and regional economies. Additionally, these three forests have more than 760 miles of river designated in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which demonstrates the outstanding natural, cultural and recreation values of these watersheds.

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