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Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Receives USDA Funding to Reduce Wildfire Risk and Restore Forest Health

By SFNF

The Greater Santa Fe Fireshed is among 16 new projects selected for funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnershipwhich invests in restoration and conservation at the landscape scale.

In today’s announcement, USDA said the 107,000-acre Greater Santa Fe Fireshed, which includes approximately 65,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF), will receive $561,104 in fiscal year 2020 funding to mitigate the risk of wildfire, improve the health of forest ecosystems and protect water quality across multiple jurisdictions in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe.

“By selecting the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed for funding, the Joint Chiefs have recognized that this is a priority landscape and a model for shared stewardship,” SFNF Supervisor James Melonas said. “This funding will help us with the implementation of science-based restoration across ownership boundaries and in collaboration with our many great partners in the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition.”

“The Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition thanks the Joint Chiefs for this opportunity to make our communities and watersheds more resilient to wildfire, drought and climate change,” said Eytan Krasilovsky, Deputy Director of the Forest Stewards Guild and former chairman of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition. “We’ve collectively made excellent progress over the past five years, and this additional investment and recognition from the Joint Chiefs’ program will help ensure that we continue to adapt this landscape to wildfire and other disturbances.”

Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest more than $41 million in 36 projects this fiscal year. Projects selected by the Joint Chiefs receive three years of funding.

The Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalitionbrings together federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, non-governmental conservation and environmental organizations, business interests and recreation groups to develop strategies to restore forested landscapes surrounding the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed. The Coalition also conducts educational outreach to engage residents and help the public understand the rationale for forest restoration and other activities to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and make communities and resources more resilient to wildfire.

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