HELENA, MT (STL.News) Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the funding of 14 forest management projects across Montana that will reduce wildfire risks, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and support local economies with good-paying jobs in the forest industry.
“Our Montana Comeback Plan calls for using all tools available to reduce wildfire risk across the state,” Governor Gianforte said. “Today’s announcement helps to advance that goal to improve forest health, which in turn protects critical habitat and watersheds and supports good-paying jobs in our local communities.”
The projects range in size from 100 to 1,000 acres and correspond with the recently completed Montana Forest Action Plan, which reassessed statewide forest conditions, identified priority areas for treatment, and developed a cross-boundary plan to accomplish landscape-scale forest restoration. Amanda Kaster, director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, said the state has committed $4.5 million for the new projects and received $500,000 in grant funds from the USDA Forest Service.
“In order to qualify, all of these projects were to provide matching funds and carry out management activities in a collaborative manner across ownership boundaries,” Kaster said. “That’s a critical element of active management, because problems of forest health and wildfire risk don’t stop at the fence line.”
A total of 47 projects were submitted through the RFP process requesting nearly $14 million in funding.
“It is critical to continue to work with our partners to identify opportunities to utilize all available authorities and options to actively facilitate forest management work across Montana,” Gianforte said.
A complete list of awarded projects and their locations are listed below and may be found at https://www.montanaforestactionplan.org/.
Bozeman Municipal Watershed Cross-Boundary Forest Collaboration Project
Project Area: Bozeman, MT
Chalk Buttes Forest Fuels Mitigation
Project Area: Carter County
Fort Belknap – Bear Gulch
Project Area: Fort Belknap Indian Reservation
Gird Creek Stand Improvement and WUI Project
Project Area: Hamilton, MT
Lone Pine State Park Forest & Grassland Improvement
Project Area: Lone Pine State Park
Missouri Headwaters Habitat Restoration and Biomass Utilization Project
Project Area: Beaverhead County
Pines Recreation Area Cross Boundary Project
Project Area: Valley County
Project Area: Bitterroot National Forest, Ravalli County
Rabbit Tracks Forest Partnership
Project Area: Troy, MT
Red Lodge Mountain Restoration Project
Project Area: Red Lodge, MT
Sorrel Springs Good Neighbor Authority Project
Project Area: Frenchtown, MT
South Helena – Capital 360 Project
Project Area: Helena, MT
Statewide Urban Reforestation
Project Area: Various municipally owned public lands across Montana
Wildfire Adapted Missoula Twin-Gold Creek Project
Project Area: Missoula County