Forest Service Announces 3.5 million to Support Community Forests
Forest Service Announces $3.5 million to Support Community Forests
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2012 –The U.S. Forest Service announced today $3.5 million in grants as part of a new program to support jobs and healthy forests in communities across the U.S
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations working to establish community forests with a focus on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation opportunities.
The federal grants will be matched with an additional $8.5 million in funding from other partners on the projects, and represent a strategic investment in local communities, a key component of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.
“These truly are community forests: envisioned by the local community, supported by the local community and it is the local community who will reap the economic and environmental benefits,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Harris Sherman. “This program will give thousands of Americans better access to the great outdoors, while fostering the next generation of American conservationists.”
All projects must ensure public access to the protected lands, and the communities must be involved in the process of developing a forest plan and determining long-term goals for the forests. Implementing the Community Forest Program is a priority in the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and supports the creation, expansion and enhancement of community green spaces.
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