News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Wildfire prevention grants available

Applications are due Nov. 3 for small forestland owners

The Oregon Department of Forestry has $2.5 million in state grants available to help small forestland owners reduce their wildfire risks.

The funding stems from allocations authorized by Senate Bill 762, the 2021 legislation that was designed to serve as a comprehensive wildfire preparedness and resiliency bill amid the fires that have plagued the state, including the Labor Day 2020 blazes that affected huge swathes of the Santiam Canyon.

The grant program is taking applications now through Nov. 3 at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/pages/small-forestland-grant-program.aspx. Projects must support “small forestland owner(s),” defined as an individual, group or federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon, who owns up to 160 acres west of the crest of the Cascades or up to 640 acres east of the crest of the Cascades.  

Like all government grant submissions, eligibility requirements must be met for this program. Here are some of the main ones:

• Projects must reduce the risk of high severity wildfire by treating hazardous fuels and at least 75 percent of project costs must go toward this goal.

• The minimum funding request is $10,000. The maximum is $300,000.

• All project work must be completed by May, 2025.

• Project cannot generate net revenue.

• Equipment costs are applicable if they meet the intent of the grant to support small forestland owners in reducing wildfire risk through the restoration of landscape resiliency and the reduction of hazardous fuels on the owners’ property. Prescribed fire equipment is applicable. However, fire suppression equipment is not. 

“The small forestland grant program is offering funding for projects that reduce wildfire risk through the restoration of landscape resiliency and the reduction of hazardous fuels (vegetation),” said Jenna Trentadue, ODF’s state initiatives grant coordinator in a news release. 

“The projects may treat multiple private ownerships as long as each owner receiving treatment meets the small forestland owner’s definition. It is beneficial to work together with other landowners or with a sponsor for the application, selection of a contractor, and final reporting requirements.

“Projects covered by these grants are a major step toward protecting people, their homes, and natural resources in Oregon by making private forestland healthier and more resilient in the face of changing climate and wildfire environment. I highly encourage people to apply and take advantage of this grant program.”

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