Earlier this month, the Natural Resources Conservation Service announced a multi-year partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to improve forest health and reduce fire threats to communities and landowners on and near several national forests.
The San Bernardino National Forest is one of two California projects to receive funding. The other is the Middle Klamath River Community.
The project, called the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership, will invest $30 million in 13 projects across the country. The California projects will receive a total of $5.5 million.
About $4 million is allocated for the SBNF. The Forest Service will use about $1.6 million for work to help mitigate wildfire threats, to protect water quality and to improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.
The NRCS funding, about $2.6 million, is available for work on private lands adjacent to the national forest. As of last week, NRCS has not signed up any private landowners, according to Jonathan Groveman, NRCS spokesperson.
All lands within the San Jacinto watershed are eligible for funding, Adam Lerner, NRCS forester, said. He encouraged interested landowners to contact NRCS’s San Jacinto office at 951-654-7139 to learn more about the possibility of assistance.
“The details have not been hammered out yet,” Lerner said, but the funding has been approved for the next three years. “The Idyllwild area and other private land will be eligible for funding.”
NRCS managed 10s of millions of dollars of work on the Hill after the last bark beetle infestation.