|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2023
NACD Awarded $600,000 U.S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration Grant to Advance Regional Conservation Efforts
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is pleased to announce that its Northeast Mid-Atlantic Forests and Water Partnership project has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) program. This grant will enable NACD and partners to collaboratively advance science-based restoration initiatives in priority forest landscapes and key watersheds across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
The Northeast Mid-Atlantic Forests and Water Partnership brings together a coalition of agencies and organizations dedicated to enhancing forest and water priorities across a 13-state footprint, from Maine to West Virginia and Ohio. This collaboration will leverage the expertise of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), state agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and conservation districts.
“This grant allows us to establish a regional forum that promotes science and research impacting forest management and water quality,” said Annica McGuirk, NACD Northeast Region Representative. “Through strategic coordination, we will align partners across the region in support of restoration projects, share valuable lessons learned, and continue to drive alignment between the forest and water sectors to achieve greater on-the-ground outcomes.”
The Northeast Partnership’s inaugural projects will be launched in Ohio and Connecticut. In Ohio, the Ohio Division of Forestry will engage forest landowners on the importance of best management practices to protect water quality and promote sustainable forest management as well as provide additional access to Ohio’s Forestry Pollution Abatement Plan program to prevent water pollution from forestry operations. Conservation districts in southeast Ohio will support these efforts and provide landowner education and outreach. In Connecticut, the Connecticut Council on Soil and Water Conservation will be leading a series of trainings on a new Geographic Information Systems toolkit for mapping riparian restoration, providing landowner outreach and education in support of sustainable forest management, and leading riparian restoration projects in priority drinking watersheds for several major cities.
“This grant brings together diverse stakeholders for forest and water restoration and landowner outreach and education to benefit communities, wildlife, and natural resources,” said Kim LaFleur, NACD President. “It is a partnership that emphasizes the importance of regional collaboration and the crucial role of conservation districts as effective partners in promoting shared stewardship and conservation on all lands. With the support of the LSR grant, the partnership aims to create lasting positive impacts on the environment and communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions” shared LaFleur.
For more information about the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Forests and Water Partnership and its restoration initiatives, please visit www.nacdnet.org.
About the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nearly 3,000 conservation districts across the United States, their state and territory associations, and the 17,000 individuals who serve on their governing boards. For more than 75 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit www.nacdnet.org.