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USDA Announces $300,000 to Support America’s Forest and Rangeland Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $300,000 in funding to support America’s forest landowners and ranchers. The grants are being funded through the Renewable Resources Extension Act – National Focus Fund Projects (RREA-NFF), administered by NIFA.

“More than half of forest lands in the United States are privately owned,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in extension forestry and rangelands education programs help ranchers, farmers, land managers, and scientists make informed decisions about how to use and sustain these natural resources.”

Forest and rangeland resources include vegetation, water, fisheries and wildlife, soil, and recreation. Renewable Resources Extension Act – National Focus Fund Projects seek to enhance the sustainability of the nation’s forest and rangeland resources and enable landowners and managers to achieve their desired goals and objectives by making resource management decisions based on sound research findings. Projects will support the capacity of the Cooperative Extension System – Extension Forestry and Rangeland Programs to educate private forestland owners and ranchers and contribute to well-managed forests and rangelands.

The deadline for applications is July 10, 2017

See the request for applications for more details.

Among previously funded projects, the University of Georgia  is developing curricula and training to help extension agents better serve the needs of forestland owners and managers. Clemson University Cooperative Extension hosted a summit to investigate alternative markets for local wood, which can lead to healthier forests and rural economic development. The average age of a forest landowner is over sixty years old, and a recent Penn State University project looked at the issue of intergenerational land transfer to help landowning families preserve forests and address other challenges such as invasive species.

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