$543,478 in grant funds available for prescribed burning

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COLLEGE STATION – Some Texas landowners may be eligible for funding to help with prescribed burning costs on private lands.

Now through September 30, 2019, Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting grant applications to reimburse landowners for the costs of having a prescribed burn conducted on their property by certified and insured prescribed burn mangers. Last year the programs were utilized for over 13,500 acres of treatments.

“Though wildfires are still occurring in areas of Texas this month, it is also time for landowners and land managers to begin planning prescribed fire operations for a time when weather conditions moderate,” said Andy McCrady, Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Coordinator.

Prescribed fire is an effective and controlled method of reducing wildfire risk by eliminating brush, weeds, dried vegetation and downed trees. Benefits from prescribed fire include wildlife habitat improvement, seed and plant regeneration, reduction of invasive plants and restoration of soil nutrients.

“This year, a new, interactive map is available online for landowners to navigate to their property and research their eligibility,” said McCrady. “The application process is entirely online this year 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 $289,989.88 of Community Protection Program-Prescribed Fire Grant funding is available for property owners within 10 miles of a National Forest in East Texas.

A total of $115,920.00 in National Fire Plan-Prescribed Fire Grants is available to 41 eligible counties with a city- or county-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

A total of $87,568.31 is available through the Neches River and Cypress Basin Watershed Restoration Program-Prescribed Fire Grant for prescribed burning in priority East Texas watersheds. Treatments will help improve water supply and quality, control invasive species and enhance wildlife habitat by restoring ecosystem function.

This year, 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.

“Texas A&M Forest Service will not be conducting these prescribed burns. Grant recipients will select a certified and insured prescribed burn manager to reimburse costs from $15 to $30 per acre, depending on program eligibility.”

The application deadline is Friday, September 30, 2019. Please apply online at http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/cppgrant/.

Learn more by visiting the Prescribed Burning Board(http://www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/PrescribedBurnProgram/PrescribedBurningBoard.aspx)

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