Roundup Record Tribune & Winnett Times -

Governor Gianforte Invests $3 Million To Improve Forest Health, Reduce Wildfire Risk

 

January 18, 2023



HELENA, Mont. — Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a $3 million investment to fund projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, managed forests mean less severe wildfires, more recreational opportunities, more habitat for wildlife, and more jobs in our communities,” Governor Gianforte said. “We’re proud to invest in Montana communities and locally-driven projects to address the forest health crisis and reduce vulnerability to wildfire.”

Receiving nearly three dozen applications for funding, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) awarded funding to eleven projects, with each receiving between $60,000 and $500,000.

Funding for the projects comes from the state’s Fire Suppression Fund, which the governor seeks to nearly triple in his Budget for Montana Families.

DNRC selected the projects based on their alignment with the goals and strategies of the Montana Forest Action Plan and the cooperation of multiple partners to achieve cross-boundary work. The selected projects are expected to treat up to 6,000 acres of state, federal, and private lands.

Projects include fuel reduction in the wildland urban interface, cross-boundary forest health restoration, public education, as well as commercial and non-commercial fuels work.

“Working with our partners on cross-boundary projects is the only way we can successfully improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk,” said DNRC Director Amanda Kaster. “I appreciate partners working together at the local level to achieve our goals and protect our communities, infrastructure, and natural resources.”

Selected projects and general project locations include the following:

Full Funding:

Lower Musselshell Hazardous Forest Fuels Reduction Program Project

Project Area: Musselshell and Golden Valley counties in the Bull Mountain area

Pattee Canyon Wildfire Mitigation Project

Project Area: Pattee Canyon, Missoula, MT

Upper Rock Creek Forest Stewardship Project

Project Area: Granite County Island Lake Fuels Project

Project Area: Lincoln County

Little Snowies Boundary Partnership Project

Project Area: Fergus County

Danielson Forest Health and Fuels Treatment Project

Project Area: Kalispell

Partial Funding:

Granite Creek Fuels Mitigation and Wildfire Risk Reduction Project

Project Area: Madison County

Stillwater Watershed Forest Restoration Project

Project Area: Southern Stillwater County

Green Diamond Resource Company Project

Project Area: Flathead County

Custer County Fuels Reduction Project

Project Area: Custer County

Columbus Rural Fire WUI Fuels Reduction

Project Area: Stillwater County

More project information and updates will be available in the coming weeks. Project areas may be subject to change dependent on signed agreements. For additional information on the Montana Forest Action Plan, please visit http://www.montanatforestactionplan.org.

 

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