Transfer station smokecauses concerns for neighborhoods 18 December 2004
by Cindy Barks, The Daily Courier
NationalFire Plant grant requests being sought 27December 2004
17 December 12004- PORTLAND – Communities in Oregon and Washingtonwill again benefit from a federal multi-agency community assistance programdesigned to reduce wildland fire threats and enhance local economies.
The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management,Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs have once again packagedForest Service community grant programs and a Department of the InteriorWildland-Urban Interface Fuels community assistance program as part of theNational Fire Plan goals.
The goal, say agency representatives, is to provide grants and assistance underthe National Fire Plan using a one-stop approach that allows grant seekersto submit a single proposal, while letting the agencies match the request to thebest available program.
For fiscal year 2006 grants, applications must be received by close of businesson February 11, 2005. The agencies expect to award between $4 and $6 million forfiscal year 2006. A majority of money will go for proposals under $250,000.Grants will be awarded after October 1, 2005 when fiscal year 2006 funds becomeavailable, 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 interagency andcommunity coordination and encourage grass-roots solutions to reduce wildlandfire threats.
Some projects that could be funded include:
– Developing Community Wildfire ProtectionPlans (CWPPs);
– Conducting hazardous fuels reductionactivities, including mechanical treatment and prescribed fire, as identified inCWPPs;
– Providing incentives, technical assistanceand education programs to encourage reduction of hazardous fuels in fire-pronecommunities;
– Developing prevention and educationprograms focused on mitigating fire risk in the wildland-urban interface; and
– Expanding markets for the by-products ofhazardous fuels reduction.
Grants through the National Fire Plan are highlycompetitive. I encourage applicants to begin collaboration with state, federaland tribal partners very early, said Bonnie Wood, National Fire PlanCoordinator for Oregon and Washington. The most successful proposals arethose that respond to the criteria, are collaborated and supported locally,leverage other funds, can be completed in one to two years, and have a realisticbudget, generally less than $200,000.
Proponents seeking funding for treatment of hazardous fuels are expected to havecomplete community wildfire protection plans. Projects in the wildland-urbaninterface with adjacent projects on federal and/or tribal land are encouraged.
More information on eligibility requirements and project evaluation criteria forthe four programs, and a link to the electronic grant application database canbe found on the Internet at http://www.nwfireplan.gov
All applications must be submitted to the electronic grants database by February11, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. All applications must be submitted on-line through thegrants database.