$477,786 in grant funds available for prescribed burning to Central and East Texas landowners

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting grant applications to offset the cost of prescribed burning on private lands for Central and East Texas landowners through September 30, 2021.

$477,786 in grant funds are available for eligible landowners conducting prescribed burns on their property by certified and insured prescribed burn managers. Last year, the grant programs provided $376,162 to landowners for a total of 15,094 acres treated.

“Texas has seen above normal rainfall this year, resulting in greater herbaceous fuel loading in our fire environments,” said Andy McCrady, Texas A&M Forest Service Program Coordinator. “With more fuels, it is important for land managers to look ahead at what areas have the heaviest undergrowth and consider planning prescribed fire operations in those locations at a time when weather conditions are moderate.”

Prescribed fire is a land management practice with countless benefits including habitat restoration, soil nutrient restoration and importantly reducing wildfire risk by eliminating brush, weeds, dried vegetation and downed trees. Available grant funds are set aside for wildfire hazard mitigation and for some grants priority will be given to projects that protect the most homes and communities, while others will give priority to habitat and ecosystem restoration.

“Interested landowners can learn more by searching the interactive map on our webpage to locate their property and research their eligibility,” said McCrady. “The application process is entirely online as well and allows landowners to work directly with the professional burn contractor of their choice to complete the application, burn plan and map requirements.”

A total of $239,368.88 of Community Protection Program – Prescribed Fire Grant funding is available for reducing hazard of high-risk fuels on private lands within 10 miles of a National Forest boundary in East Texas.

The State Fire Assistance for Mitigation Central and East Texas – Prescribed Fire Grant has a total of $114,777.50 available to 43 eligible counties with a city- or county-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

A total of $73,640.01 is available through the Neches River and Cypress Basin Watershed Restoration Program – Prescribed Fire Grant for prescribed burning in prioritized East Texas watersheds. Treatments will help improve water supply and quality, control invasive species and enhance wildlife habitat by restoring ecosystem function.

Up to $50,000 is available through the Texas Longleaf Conservation Assistance Program – Prescribed Fire Grant for burn treatments on private land in East Texas to enhance longleaf pine ecosystems. This cooperative program is available in select counties throughout the year. For details on the Texas Longleaf Conservation Assistance Program, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/longleaf/.

Texas A&M Forest Service does not conduct these prescribed burns. Grant recipients must select a certified and insured prescribed burn manager to reimburse costs from $20 to $30 per acre, depending on program eligibility.

The application deadline is Thursday, September 30, 2021. Interested landowners can search eligibility and fill out an online application by visiting http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/cppgrant/.

Find more information on cost-share programs offered to Texas landowners through the Funding Connector website at https://texasforestinfo.tamu.edu/fundingconnector/.

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