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County grants available to help improve health of national forest

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Grant applications are being accepted now by the Yavapai County Resource Advisory Committee for projects that can be funded under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000, as reauthorized in 2008. Grantees could receive funding on a reimbursement basis starting as early as spring 2011. The Yavapai County RAC is expected to receive approximately $1.3 million in Title II Funding.

Although the primary location for projects is intended to be in Yavapai County on the Prescott National Forest and portions of the Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto national forests, projects can also be on nonfederal lands within Yavapai County where projects would benefit the national forest. The act authorizes grants to federal agencies, state and local governments, private and nonprofit entities for projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure such as roads, trails, recreation facilities or projects that improve forest health and "restore and improve land health and water quality.

The following types of projects are eligible: road, trail access, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil health and productivity improvement; improvement in forest ecosystem health and productivity; watershed restoration, preservation and maintenance; restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat; control of noxious and exotic weeds; reestablishment of native species; sustainable recreation opportunities; and others such as fire prevention, integrated pest management, etc.

Each project proposal will be evaluated on how cost-effective it is and to what extent partners are involved, how the project improves the quality of human life including any employment opportunities, and how many benefits accrue to ecosystem health. Projects will generally be less than $75,000 although particularly meritorious proposals may be considered at higher funding levels.

Deadline for the first-round applications is Friday, Jan. 14, and the second round is Friday, June 10. To be considered for the first round of funding, project must be postmarked by Jan. 14. Potential applicants must discuss their proposal with the closest district ranger before submitting an application. The new law allows RAC funds to be used for the costs of the National Environmental Policy Act analysis and for project implementation. Most projects will need to be NEPA-sufficient at the time of the proposal.

Electronic grant applications are available upon request by contacting Debbie Maneely at (928) 443-8130 or

Copyright 2010 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: December 8, 2010

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