The US Forest Service is addressing the wildfire crisis in the West by announcing nearly a dozen natural landscapes that they will focus on to prevent wildfires.
Chief Randy Moore was in Arizona on Thursday to announce that 11 more natural landscapes will be added to the list of top priorities in the western United States.
San Carlos Apache Tribal Forest Preserve on the San Carlos Reservation Grounds will be among 11 landscapes added for the treat. $32 million will be allocated for this project, which will treat 87,000 acres.
Officials say work on the landscape will help protect the international waters shared with the tribe, associated drinking water systems and residential areas.
Last year, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service embarked on a 10-year strategy to address wildfires in the West.
In 2022, the departments announced for the first time that they would focus on Northern Arizona and Prescott areas as the first landscapes considered high priority.
High risk fire sheds are areas with a high potential for catastrophic fire in homes, communities and vulnerable infrastructure.
The departments will work to prevent wildfires by treating the landscape by working on forest thinning, and other means of prevention.
“In fiscal (FY) 2023, we will increase our capacity for fuels and forest health treatments by integrating new ways of working with our partners and communities, creating mobile strike teams, and using new technology that allows us to plan and place remedies more effectively,” according to a fact sheet. issued by the departments.
Facts from the Forest Service:
These landscapes include the lands of the National Forest System and the lands of the San Carlos Reserve. In order to restore landscapes across the border, in the Forest Service, we will work with the San Carlos Apache Tribe to build on the two tribal forest protection bills they started. The landscape work will protect the international waters shared with the tribe, associated drinking water systems, and residential areas.
The fuel reduction work will also reduce wildfire exposure at the Mount Graham International Observatory and two telecommunications sites, including primary communications systems for local law enforcement.
Working collaboratively with the San Carlos Apache Tribe and several partners (including the National Forest Foundation, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Mule Deer Foundation, and Salt River Project), we will use contracts and other partnership agreements during initial hire, training, and fuel treatments on the Land and survey work.
Working in this landscape will reduce communities’ vulnerability to wildfires on the San Carlos and Fort Apache Reservations. The Wildland Fire Landscapes treatment will restore fire-adapted ecosystems in a culturally sensitive manner with an emphasis on sustainable uses of cultural forest products, including clean water, traditional medicinal vegetation, firewood, and culturally significant food sources such as nuts, berries, and wildlife. The work will also enhance public understanding and exchange of culturally important information to better guide our land management decisions.
We expect to complete 87,000 acres of treatments between fiscal year 2023 and 2027. However, for the first two years, the San Carlos Apache Tribe will be employed, and these new positions will add to the overall ability to collaborate, develop and execute projects across the landscape. Once the capacity to develop and implement critical treatments is established, we will work together to treat beyond the initial 87,000 acres.