17 December 12004- PORTLAND – Communities in Oregon and Washington will againbenefit from a federal multi-agency community assistance program designed toreduce wildland fire threats and enhance local economies.
The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Serviceand Bureau of Indian Affairs have once again packaged Forest Service communitygrant programs and a Department of the Interior Wildland-Urban Interface Fuelscommunity assistance program as part of the National Fire Plan goals.
The goal, say agency representatives, is to provide grants and assistanceunder the National Fire Plan using a “one-stop” approach that allowsgrant seekers to submit a single proposal, while letting the agencies match therequest to the best available program.
For fiscal year 2006 grants, applications must be received by close ofbusiness on February 11, 2005. The agencies expect to award between $4 and $6million for fiscal year 2006. A majority of money will go for proposals under$250,000. Grants will be awarded after October 1, 2005 when fiscal year 2006funds become available, likely in February 2006.
The four programs for proposals include wildland-urban interface fuelsreduction, fuels utilization and marketing, education and prevention, andcommunity wildfire protection planning.
Each program has a different focus, but combined, they increase interagencyand community coordination and encourage grass-roots solutions to reducewildland fire threats.
Some projects that could be funded include:
– Developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs); – Conducting hazardous fuels reduction activities, including mechanicaltreatment and prescribed fire, as identified in CWPPs; – Providing incentives, technical assistance and education programs to encouragereduction of hazardous fuels in fire-prone communities; – Developing prevention and education programs focused on mitigating fire riskin the wildland-urban interface; and – Expanding markets for the by-products of hazardous fuels reduction.
“Grants through the National Fire Plan are highly competitive. Iencourage applicants to begin collaboration with state, federal and tribalpartners very early,” said Bonnie Wood, National Fire Plan Coordinator forOregon and Washington. “The most successful proposals are those thatrespond to the criteria, are collaborated and supported locally, leverage otherfunds, can be completed in one to two years, and have a realistic budget,generally less than $200,000.”
Proponents seeking funding for treatment of hazardous fuels are expected tohave complete community wildfire protection plans. Projects in thewildland-urban interface with adjacent projects on federal and/or tribal landare encouraged.
More information on eligibility requirements and project evaluation criteriafor the four programs, and a link to the electronic grant application databasecan be found on the Internet at http://www.nwfireplan.gov
All applications must be submitted to the electronic grants database byFebruary 11, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. All applications must be submitted on-linethrough the grants database.