Forest restoration project gets the job done in MTPosted: February 4, 2012
Source: Public News Service
MISSOULA, Mont. – About 240 new jobs, 11,000 acres of wildlife habitat restored, and thousands of cubic feet of commercial timber sold. These are some of the benefits tallied in a report on the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) on Montana’s Lolo, Flathead and Helena national forests in 2011. The projects are determined by local residents, businesses, conservation groups and forestmanagers.
Lolo National Forest Supervisor Debbie Austin says the “ask first” approach really works.
“It has really helped us develop a series of activities that restore a lot of public lands, and in the process provide products and jobs for people.”
The Southwestern Crown Collaborative helps the Forest Service guide the program in Montana. Austin says working with interested parties has helped the forest meet goals more quickly.
“What we’ve been able to do with the extra money that comes along with the project is actually implement road decommissioning, stream improvement, fuels reduction in urban interfaces, and that kind of thing.”
Forty million dollars has been proposed by the U.S. House for CLFRP in 2012. The new U.S. House budget bill recommends fully funding the program next year. Ten programs in nine states received CFLRP funding in 2010.