The DNRC has awarded a hazardous fuels reduction grant to the North Fork community, its third such grant since the Wedge Canyon and Robert fires in 2003. According to a DNRC spokesperson, “the North Fork project received priority in the grant selection process due in part to the demonstrated willingness of landowners to collaborate in combining treatments across the landscape.” Over 100 North Fork landowners have participated in the two previous grant programs. Many of their projects have benefited multiple landowners.
Approximately $100,000 in funds will be available for mitigation activities under the grant. Monies will be distributed on a cost-share basis, with the grant providing 75% of the cost of an agreed-upon project and the landowner providing the remaining 25%, in cash or in kind. Allowable activities include thinning, brush piling, chipping, prescribed burning, pruning, right-of-way vegetation management and education about defensible space. The total value of the grant, with landowners’ share, is about $133,000.
An application to participate in the grant program is enclosed with the newsletter. A copy also may be downloaded from here on the Fire Mitigation Committee page on the NFLA web site. A landowner may simply opt for a free home wildfire evaluation, without further involvement in the program.
The Flathead Economic Policy Center (FEPC) will administer the grant which unless extended, terminates on September 30, 2014.