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USDA Forest Service investing in Isleta East Mountains Youth Fuel Reduction Project

USDA Forest Service announced it is investing $300,000 in the Isleta East Mountains Youth Fuel Reduction Project to restore tribal, state and private forestlands. This investment directly supports the agency’s efforts to confront the ongoing wildfire crisis, while providing critical support to landowners across management jurisdictions as they work to promote healthy, productive forests that are resilient to the effects of climate change.

The investments, totaling $13 million nationwide, are being delivered as competitive grants through the Landscape Scale Restoration program. Of the total funding, $1.5 million will support 5 projectsfor federally recognized tribes, including Pueblo of Isleta.

“Catastrophic wildfires and invasive species know no boundary. That’s why we are taking an all-lands, all-hands approach and investing in healthy and resilient forests across management jurisdictions.” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “These grants directly support our Wildfire Crisis Strategy efforts to improve the health of forests that communities depend on for clean water, recreation, and the resources that drive local economies.”

“Implementation of strategic restoration projects like the Isleta East Mountains Youth Fuel Reduction Project strengthens ecological integrity and resilience of forests across shared landscapes,” said Southwestern Regional Forester, Michiko Martin. “By incorporating Tribal land directly in these investments, the Forest Service honors our nation-to-nation relationships and supports the agency’s Tribal Action Plan and Equity Action Plan.”

The Isleta East Mountains Youth Fuel Reduction Project, located in the Manzano Mountains, southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico will extend an existing fuel break to further protect Tribal land. This project will also benefit neighboring forested land including the Cibola National Forest, the Chilili Land Grant, and New Mexico State Lands.

The 150 acre project area consists of high-density ponderosa pine and mixed conifer stands at risk of uncharacteristic fire in a landscape important for wildlife diversity, forest products, and important cultural resources. By partnering with the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps to thin the 150 acres, the project will also support Tribal youth through meaningful conservation work, training, and career pathways.

Between 2018 and 2023, the Forest Service awarded 315 competitive grants to support projects in 47 states and five territories for a total of $78.2 million dollars in federal funding.

A complete list of funded projects for Fiscal Year 2024 is available on the Forest Service: Landscape Scale Restoration Funded Projects.

 

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