The Forest Care grant program is coming to an end. Since 2006, the reimbursement program has helped property owners create healthier, more fire-safe forests on their property.
Landowners within the San Bernardino National Forest still have a chance to meet with one of Forest Care’s professional foresters for a free property evaluation and voluntary enrollment in the reimbursement program. Forest Care will continue to schedule appointments with any interested landowners into the beginning of February 2013; however, Forest Care will not be able to meet with property owners if the weather turns bad, making it hard to predict when appointments will have to end.
“The reason for the cryptic end date for appointments is to provide our service to as many interested landowners as possible,” explained Forest Care Director Julie Crick. “Heavy or lingering snowfalls will halt progress on the initiation and, more importantly, the completion of Forest Care projects. A mild winter means both Forest Care foresters, as well as timber operators, may continue to work.”
The Forest Care staff wants to ensure that enrolled landowners are able to have project work completed and a reimbursement request submitted by their April 15, 2013 deadline. This will allow them to receive reimbursement requests. The April deadline will ensure Forest Care has enough time to inspect completed projects and provide reimbursement funds to participating landowners before the grant expires in June 2013.
Forest Care is funded through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service delivered in partnership by the National Forest Association and CALFIRE. Forest Care’s mission is to create forest-friendly communities by reducing fire fuels and setting standards for thinning trees to healthier densities on privately owned land.
Property owners will be reimbursed up to 75% of the cost of thinning their properties when they participate in the Forest Care Program.
In nearly six years, more than 3,700 landowners have successfully completed Forest Care on their property.
To schedule a free property evaluation with a professional forester, call the Forest Care office at (888) 883-8446. To learn more about the Forest Care Program visit its website: www.nationalforestassociation.org/whyforestcare.php.