PHOENIX – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the selection of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration projects in nine states, including the Four Forest Restoration Initiative in Arizona, aimed at improving public lands through forest restoration treatment techniques, such as thinning.
Today’s announcement means that the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, located on the Apache-Sitgreaves, Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto National forests, will receive $2 million – the largest award under the program -- for its focus on the restoration of the southwestern ponderosa pine ecosystem in northern Arizona and will help fund the treatment of up to 50,000 acres per year. The project’s work will include mechanical thinning, prescribed fire, and management of natural fires to achieve restoration objectives. The project will implement an effective landscape-scale restoration strategy that employs adaptive management and monitoring at scales in which ecosystems actually operate. Further, the mechanical thinning emphasis of this project is expected to engage new industry and expand the work being accomplished through the White Mountain Stewardship Contract.
Senator Kyl has led efforts for years to promote forest restoration projects and techniques, like those developed through research at the Ecological Restoration Institute in northern Arizona. In May, Senators Kyl and McCain wrote a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in support of the Arizona projects then under consideration for the CFLR program. That letter is attached.
For more information on today’s announcement and the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR.
Sen. Jon Kyl is the Senate Republican Whip and serves on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees. Visit his website at www.kyl.senate.gov.