New funding available to support private landowners in forest health and reduce wildfire danger in San Juan County

  • Fri Nov 19th, 2021 1:30am
  • Life
conservation

Submitted by The San Juan Islands Conservation District.

The San Juan Islands Conservation District has received funding from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to assist forest landowners in San Juan County with improving forest health and wildfire resiliency. The forest health practices being targeted are based on Best Management Practices (BMPs) from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and focus on reducing wildfire fuels, building healthy forest and soil ecosystems that contribute to overall forest health.

SJICD expects to award roughly $7,500 to 7 different landowner projects for a total of $52,500. Eligible practices include reducing forest congestion and wildfire fuels, improving forest health and wildlife habitat, and enhancing soil organic matter and carbon levels. Interested landowners should submit an application by Dec. 15 through the SJICD Forest Health Collaborative website at www.sanjuanislandscd.org/forestcostshare.

Priority will be given to the following: 1) areas listed in the 2012 San Juan County Community Wildfire Protection Plan 2) stands with higher density and congestion of trees articulated in the forest management plan 3) treatment areas that protect infrastructure 4) treatment areas for forested stands with species and populations of concern 5) treatment areas along roads that improve access in case of a wildfire 6) efficient use of funding for activities 7) demonstration that activities will be accomplished by June 30th, 2022.

Interested applicants should also be prepared to meet the following requirements before applying: 1) provide 25% cost match ($2,500 for a project with $10,000 in total value) with either a monetary or in-kind labor contribution; 2) provide a certified or SJICD-approved forest management plan written for your land; 3) provide proof of ownership of a parcel in San Juan County; 4) be able to contract with a qualified arborist to accomplish the work or conduct the work yourself.

Homeowner associations and other neighborhood associations that meet the requirements are encouraged to apply. Accepted applicants will be asked to engage in a site walk-through from SJICD staff and sign a landowner agreement with SJICD.