USDA announces US$20.5M in grants to help states, tribes establish bridge programs to protect water resources during forestry operations and to support sawmills, wood processing facilities that utilize byproducts of forest restoration activities

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

WASHINGTON , November 17, 2022 (press release) –

 

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced $20.5 million in grants to help states or federally recognized tribes establish temporary bridge programs to protect water resources during -related operations and to assist  processing facility owners to establish, reopen, retrofit, or expand. The grants are focused on  or other  processing facilities that purchase and process byproducts from  restoration activities in areas of severe fire risk and insect or disease infestation.

The funds, made available by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to ensure tribes and historically marginalized or underserved communities receive equal access and opportunities to funding and programs, and to support community efforts vital to  health. This funding opportunity also follows through on President Biden’s Executive Order directing USDA to scale up rural economic development and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s direction to the  Service to find new ways to use byproducts from landscape improvement and wildfire mitigation projects to enhance  while creating jobs and economic opportunities.

“We are working to increase economic opportunities for rural and tribal communities adjacent to national  and grasslands,” said  Service Chief Randy Moore. “Our tribal, state and  processing partners are working in the  every day to improve  health and protect water resources. Today’s investments will expand these opportunities and provide much needed financial resources to restore and  our .”

The $20.5 million being committing in fiscal year 2022 includes:

  • $12.5 million targeted as financial assistance for owners of facilities that purchase and process byproducts from  restoration projects including thinning, wildfire resilience activities and habitat management. Owners must identify how their work will use byproducts from areas of high or very high risk of severe wildfire or insect and disease infestation based on the high priority firesheds identified in the  Service 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy or by using the Wildfire Risk to Communities and National Insect and Disease Risk maps.
  • $8 million is available to states and tribes to support the establishment of temporary bridge rental, loan or cost-share programs to protect water resources and reduce water quality degradation during -related operations. The funding is to help states and tribes create a program that provides portable skidder bridges, bridge mats or other temporary water crossing structures to  and others working in  areas. These bridges will minimize damage from trucks and other equipment in  areas, especially sensitive wetlands.

As an example, in 2022, the San Carlos Apache Tribe was awarded $1 million as part of the  Service Community  Energy and  Innovations grant program to purchase a  dry kiln and planing mill. The funding will help the Tribe improve  management while providing significant employment opportunities for tribal members.

More information about these funding opportunities is available at the  Service website and on Grants.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and  practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

 


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