Good news! The federal government is making available a large allocation of cost-share money. Qualifying landowners can use these funds to help pay for forest improvement projects such as developing a forest stewardship plan, tree planting, pre-commercial thinning, and fire hazard reduction. Up to 75% of the costs associated with these projects can be paid for with federal dollars.
This funding is becoming available through the revived Stewardship Incentives Program. The primary drive behind these dollars relates to the severe wildfire situation throughout the west over the last few years. The money is intended to help landowners improve their forestland while reducing the fire hazard. To participate in the Stewardship Incentives Program a landowner must first have a forest stewardship plan prepared. This can be accomplished through an Idaho or Washington State forestry specialist or by consulting foresters, such as Inland Forest Management, Inc. As mentioned previously, the program will help pay for plan development, if completed by a consulting forester.
This is a real window of opportunity. For the last few years little cost-share money has been available. It is not known how long this funding will last. If you are considering any of these projects, now is the time to pursue them. Please contact IFM, or your local Idaho Department of Lands or Washington Department of Natural Resources office for further information about this program.