Big news for forests and those who work in them

Big news for forests and those who work in themAs a member of the Southwestern Crown of the Continent Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) project and recent addition to the CFLR Coalition steering committee, it was exciting to hear Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s big announcement last week of $40 million in funding for new and existing CFLR projects and an additional $4.6 million to support other high priority restoration projects. The funding will benefit forests and workers alike, which is no small reason for celebration.

The CFLR Program was created by the United States Congress under Title IV of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The CFLR Program encourages the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes. The CFLR Coalition was formed to secure full funding for, and ensure the success of, the CFLR Program and now has 144 member organizations that share this goal.

CFLR has many benefits. For years I had heard from folks that the Forest Service waited too long before involving the public in land management planning processes. Thanks to the CFLR Program, that problem is closer to being solved. These days, instead of the Forest Service taking a couple of years to design a project then going to the public for their opinion, the public is involved from the beginning.

All told, it’s easy to see how this is a program we can truly get excited about in the forest products industry.

The following 10 new projects are approved for funding in 2012:

Burney-Hat Creek Basins Project, California – $605,000
Pine-Oak Woodlands Restoration Project, Missouri – $617,000
Shortleaf-Bluestem Community Project, Arkansas and Oklahoma – $342,000
Weiser-Little Salmon Headwaters Project, Idaho – $2,450,000
Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative, Idaho – $324,000
Southern Blues Restoration Coalition, Oregon – $2,500,000
Lakeview Stewardship Project, Oregon – $3,500,000
Zuni Mountain Project, New Mexico – $400,000
Grandfather Restoration Project, North Carolina – $605,000
Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group Cornerstone Project, California – $730,000

The following three projects are considered high priority restoration and are approved for funding in 2012 outside of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act:

Northeast Washington Forest Vision 2020, Washington – $968,000
Ozark Highlands Ecosystem Restoration, Arkansas – $959,000
Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Restoration and Hazardous Fuels Reduction, De Soto National Forest, National Forests in Mississippi – $2,710,000

The following 10 Collaborative Forest Landscape projects were approved for funding in 2010 and will continue to receive funding in 2012:

Selway-Middle Fork Clearwater Project, Idaho
Southwestern Crown of the Continent, Montana
Colorado Front Range, Colorado
Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado
4 Forest Restoration Initiative, Arizona
Southwest Jemez Mountains, New Mexico
Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project, California
Deschutes Skyline, Oregon
Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, Washington
Accelerating Longleaf Pine Restoration, Florida

Craig Rawlings

Craig Rawlings is the CEO and president of Forest Business Network and has 30 years experience in the forest products industry as an entrepreneur and technical consultant. He can be reached by calling 406.240.0300 or by using our contact form.

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