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05-13-21 | News

USDA Focused on Forest Conservation and Restoration with New Funding

US Forest Service and USDA Provide $45 Million in Funding

The United States Forest Service's Community Forest Program awarded $4 million towards supporting 10 projects in nine states. These funds will assist local governments, Indian tribes, and qualified non-profit organizations in creating, expanding, and enhancing community forests.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $15 million in grants to fund the expanded use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood energy markets, and protect communal forests. This program will be delivered through the UDSA Forest Service and will support 60 projects with a range of applications including developing affordable housing and expanding markets for wood energy and wood products. Furthermore, funds will also go towards assisting tribes, local governments and qualified non-profit organizations to conserve working forests. The Forest Service is reportedly leveraging an additional $30 million to bring the total funding to $45 million.

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In agricultural secretary Tom Vilsack's announcement of the funds, he said, "To manage wildfire and address climate, we need to manage our forests. Today's investments underpin USDA's commitment to address the climate crisis with a market-based approach that begins to move us toward a clean energy economy, led by production of renewable fuel and energy and biobased products grown and manufactured here in the U.S."

Vilsack went on to explain that the American Jobs Plan along with the USDA's 2022 budget request allow the Forest Service to prioritize forest management and restoration.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/releases/usda-awards-15-million-grants-expand-wood-products-wood-energy-markets-and-community

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