New jobs and healthier forests: 2012 Report Provides Good News from U.S. Forest Service
Third Year of Program Reveals Gifts for People, Water, and Wildlife
Denver, CO | December 19, 2012
A national report released today highlights 2012 results from the Front Range and Uncompahgre Plateau forest restoration projects in Colorado. They are part of a larger national program, called Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration, which works to restore forests for people, water, and wildlife.
The Front Range and Uncompahgre Plateau projects are two of 23 national projects that split $40 million in 2012. All told Colorado received $1,446,000 dollars to manage the projects to create healthier forests. .
Among the accomplishments in 2012 were:
- 488 jobs created or maintained
- 7,000 acres of hazardous fuels removed, reducing mega fire risk
- 14,817 acres wildlife habitat improved
- $15,218,851 labor income generated
“We are proud of these collaborative projects,” says the Conservancy’s Colorado state director, Tim Sullivan. “They are rare win-win-win efforts, with a broad coalition of partners pulling together to accomplish real benefits for people, forests, water, and wildlife. We’re looking forward to getting even more done in the coming years.”
“These partnerships are helping develop a new approach to managing our national forests in a manner that increases the pace of forest restoration while also supporting businesses in our community, providing jobs and supplying marketable wood for manufacturing and biomass,” says Pam Motley, Director of Public Relations for West Range Reclamation, whose forest management company serves a contractor on both the Front Range and Uncompahgre Plateau forest restoration projects. “We are honored and excited to be a part of this great work.”
Project activities include thinning, controlled burns, and other restoration work to help return them to their historically healthy condition. Selected projects will look to receive funding until 2019, provided funding is included in the President’s Budget and appropriated in Congress each year.
“More than a century of fire suppression, combined with persistent drought, population growth and past management practices, has taken its toll on the water, wildlife, and recreation benefits these forests provide us,” adds Paige Lewis, Director of the Forest Health and Fire Initiative for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado. “We need to improve the health of our forests, and these projects are part of the cure for us.”
The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLR) was created by Congress in 2009 to foster collaborative, science-based restoration in National Forests around the country.
As identified in the 2012 report, the 23 CFLR sites across the country cumulatively:
- Created and maintained 1,550 jobs;
- Produced 107 million board feet of timber;
- Generated nearly $59 million of labor income;
- Removed fuel for destructive mega-fires on 90,000 acres near communities;
- Reduced mega-fire on an additional 64,000 acres;
- Improved 66,000 acres of wildlife habitat;
- Restored 28 miles of fish habitat;
- Enhanced clean water supplies by remediating 163 miles of eroding roads.
The annual report was produced by the CFLR Coalition, which is comprised of 145 member organizations that includes private businesses, communities, counties, tribes, water suppliers, associations, and non-governmental organizations.
Copies of the 2012 CFLR Annual Report can be requested from Jon Schwedler of the CFLR Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on CFLR can be found at the U.S. Forest Service’s website: http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR/
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.