Tags: collaborative forest landscape restoration
A U.S. Forest Service program will provide $605,000 to reduce wildfire costs and severity, and to fight hemlock wooly adelgid in two popular recreation areas of the Pisgah National Forest, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release today.
The grant is among $40 million to be allocated for 20 forest and watershed restoration projects under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration program.
The 10-year project is meant to restore natural fire-adapted vegetation in the forest, lower wildfire severity and fire suppression costs, and help threatened and endangered species in and around Linville Gorge and the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River corridor.
The proposal for the grant calls for prescribed burns, thinning mature trees and planting shortleaf pine in 36,795 acres of pine and oak forests. Other work includes "removing white pine, red maple, yellow poplar and other mesophytic species from oak-hickory and yellow pine Ecological Zones" to "improve species composition and structure on 1,850 acres of upland forests." Another 2,740 acres will be treated for non-native invasive plants.
The Grandfather Restoration Project (it's named for the ranger district) will also include treatment of 540 acres of eastern and Carolina hemlock for hemlock woolly adelgid within the first two years of the project and then indefinitely thereafter.
Additional plans call for bank stabilization, species reintroduction, and removal of artificial fish barriers and non-native invasive plants on a total of 16 miles of streams in the project area.
The proposal says the work involved, including harvesting and selling wood products, will create 12.6 full-time-equivalent jobs.