USDA Supports Help for Damaged Forest Land

Natural disaster-impacted forests get federal help.

Published on: Jan 3, 2011

U.S Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Montana State Executive Director Bruce Nelson says $18 million is available to help non-industrial private forest land owners restore lands damaged by natural disasters.

The funds are provided through USDA's Emergency Forest Restoration Program.

EFRP participants will use the money to implement emergency forest restoration practices, including emergency measures necessary to address damage caused by a natural disaster to natural resources on NIPF property and restore forest health and forest-related resources. The damage from the natural disaster must have taken place on or after Jan. 1, 2010.

To be eligible for the program is administered by the FSA, land must:

Have existing tree cover (or had tree cover immediately before the natural disaster and is suitable for growing trees).

Be owned by any private non-industrial group, association, individual, corporation or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land.

Additionally, the natural disaster must create damage that, if untreated, would:

Impair or endanger the natural resources on the land.

Materially affect future use of the land.

All of these conditions must be met for EFRP eligibility. FSA county committees determine land eligibility based upon on-site damage inspections, taking into account the type and extent of the damage.

For more information on how to apply and eligibility requirements, land owners may visit their county FSA office where their farm records are maintained, or go to http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov and www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation.  Information is also available at http://go.usa.gov.CLI.