Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, March 12 @ 10:42 a.m. / Environment, Fire, Local Government
Little Jones Creek Restoration Project Nets USDA Funding
A fuels reduction project spearheaded by a group consisting of Six Rivers National Forest officials, local government, tribal and nonprofit representatives will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Joing Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership
From the Six Rivers National Forest:
Six Rivers’ Little Jones Creek project receives Joint Chiefs’ funding
GASQUET, Calif. – The Little Jones Creek Project, on the Six Rivers National Forest’s Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River National Recreation Area and neighboring private lands, is among 16 new projects selected for funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership. The partnership invests in restoration and conservation at the landscape scale, focusing on areas where public forests and grasslands intersect with privately owned lands.
Developed in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Smith River Collaborative (SRC), the 8,700-acre Little Jones Creek Project area will receive $697,000 in fiscal year 2020 to complete a network of strategically placed fuelbreaks on public and private land to help protect isolated rural communities from catastrophic wildfire.
The funding will specifically be used to treat 379 acres of fuels reduction on federal land (Little Jones Creek Project) and 908 acres of fuels reduction on private land (Washington Flat wildland-urban interface (WUI) area).
Gerry Hemmingsen, Chair of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and Co-Chair of the SRC, said, “We are extremely pleased to see this funding for strategic fuelbreaks across public and adjacent private land in the Washington Flat area, a WUI community. We’re especially grateful to our Forest Service partners for their leadership and support on the project and the Joint Chiefs’ grant application.”
“The Little Jones Creek Joint Chiefs’ initiative is a timely effort, that expands NRCS conservation investments on California’s public and private forest lands,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “The funding will enable private property owners to play a major role in this conservation effort to improve the health and resiliency of the forest and watershed landscapes.”
According to Gasquet District Ranger Jeff Marszal, “Being awarded Joint Chiefs’ funding illustrates the power of shared stewardship and collaboration. The NRA is grateful to have such strong community and partnership support.” He added, “Implementing the Little Jones Creek Project is a critically important step towards meeting our goal of enhancing community protection and ecological resilience.”
The SRC is a working partnership between the Forest Service, Del Norte County elected officials, Elk Valley Rancheria, Tolowa Dee-ni′ Nation, local and regional environmental groups (Friends of Del Norte, Klamath Forest Alliance, Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild) and Smith River Alliance), Del Norte Fire Safe Council, and American Forest Resource Council.
Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest more than $41 million in 36 new and current projects this fiscal year. Over the last seven years, USDA has invested more than $225 million to Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership projects. Selected projects receive three years of funding.