USDA Funding to Reduce Wildfire Risk

USDA Funding to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Wildfires have devastated large parts of the western United States, including forests and grasslands. Thousands of wildfires have ripped through millions acres in California alone in the last five years. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA is releasing nearly two billion dollars for fuels and vegetation treatments to combat wildfires in the western U.S. He says this announcement expands on the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy put in place last year.

“We're announcing the decision to increase our activities with an additional 11 landscapes that span 66 high-priority fire sheds… we intend to invest in those 11 landscapes $490 million. We expect and anticipate that this will allow us to begin a process in a number of shovel-ready projects that are available in these landscapes as well as increasing resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the initial ten landscapes.”

He says the ten-year strategy calls for treating up to 20 million acres of national forests and grasslands and up to 30 million acres of other federal, state, tribal, private, and family-owned lands.

In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom earmarked $80 million in the state budget for prescribed grazing and reintroducing livestock to grass and rangelands.

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