Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a new report, Increasing the Pace of Restoration and Job Creation on our National Forests, which outlines a strategy and series of actions for management on 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. As part of the accelerated restoration strategy, $40 million for 20 forest and watershed restoration projects have been announced for the upcoming year.
The funding includes 10 new projects under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program, continued funding for the original 10 projects selected under the CFLR program in 2010, and an additional $4.6 million to support other high priority restoration projects.
This strategy and actions are designed to expand the number of forest acres treated by 20% over the next three years and increase the pace of active forest management, including fuels reduction, reforestation, stream restoration, road decommissioning, replacing and improving culverts, forest thinning and harvesting, prescribed fire and a range of other techniques.
These restoration efforts will further stimulate local economies by retaining and increasing forest related jobs. The Forest Service estimates this will increase the amount of forest products sold in 2014 to 3 billion BF, up from 2.4 billion BF in 2011.