March 2, 2009

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Economic Stimulus Package - Status of Impact to the Alabama Forestry Commission

As part of the Economic Stimulus Package the United States Forest Service (USFS) was granted a national appropriation of $500,000,000 to provide funding to state and private organizations for hazardous fuel reduction, forest health, and ecosystem improvement projects on state and private forests.

Each state was asked to submit projects to the Forest Service that met the funding objectives. The Alabama Forestry Commission submitted the following seven (7) projects.

  1. “Alabama Cogongrass State Task Forces” War on Cogongrass
  • Designed to significantly reduce the statewide threat of cogongrass spread

  • Control and eradication of the current infestation

  • Mitigate the epidemic nature of the infestation in the southwest part of the state

  1. “Prescribed Burning and Hazardous Fuel Reduction on Alabama’s Rural Lands”
  • Provide the construction of firebreaks and offer prescribed burn on private and state lands at “no cost” to eliminate hazardous fuel buildup in high risk areas

  • Improve threatened and endangered species habitat

  • Improve forest health.

  1. “Wildland Urban Interface – Getting it done on the Ground”
  • Conduct a comprehensive county by county assessment of over 1000 communities tentatively identified as high fire risk areas

  • Provide wildland urban firefighting training to all VFD’s in the state and

  • Provide "no match" grants for hazardous fuel reduction in high risk areas

  1. “Stewardship/Tree Farm Certification Grant Program”
  • Provide a no-match grant to landowners interested in certification

  1. “Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) Project”
  • Provide funding through “no match” grants to collect data from all FIA plots in Alabama over a
    two year period. (data is currently collected on a seven year cycle)

  1.  “Longleaf Pine Corridor Restoration”
  • Increase acres of planted longleaf pine in priority areas
  • Accelerate prescribed burning on existing longleaf pine habitat
  • Enhance restoration and reduce hazardous fuels
  • Control undesirable species
  1. “Recreational Trails”
  • On State Forests build and/or improve approximately 30 miles of recreational trails
    (hiking, horseback and ATV)

The USFS is in the process of evaluating projects submitted across the United States and will select, within the
next few weeks, those projects identified for funding.

As soon as the USFS notifies the AFC of the results of our funding request, the will be posted on this site.

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