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USDA Investing Funds to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced his agency is expanding efforts to reduce the risk of wildfires in the western U.S. Funds will be invested to directly protect at-risk communities and critical infrastructure in 11 additional landscapes in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

“It’s no longer a matter of if a wildfire will threaten many western communities, it’s a matter of when,” Vilsack says. “This announcement means over $490 million will be used to restore national forests, including the restoration of resilient old-growth forest conditions.”

The Forest Service announced its original ten landscape project areas last year. Combined with the additional announcement this week, that represents a total USDA investment of $930 million across 45 million acres. The work spans 134 of the 250 highest-risk fire sheds identified in the Wildfire Crisis Strategy and will mitigate the wildfire risk for around 200 communities in the western United States.

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