Walker County land owners eligible to apply for grants to offset prescribed burn costs.
East Texas landowners may now be reimbursed for helping to reduce overgrown vegetation on their lands. In an effort to reduce wildfire hazards on private property, Texas A&M Forest Service is offering grants to conduct prescribed burning.
Strategically-planned prescribed fires can enhance ecosystems and protect homes and communities from wildfire.
“This year’s abundant rainfall has increased the already problematic amount of hazardous understory vegetation in our East Texas forests. When the weather is hot and dry, this ‘fuel’ can contribute to dangerous wildfires. Prescribed burning during late winter and spring is an effective tool to remove heavy fuel loads,” Andy McCrady, fuels coordinator with Texas A&M Forest Service, said.
“The Community Protection Program Prescribed Fire Grant allows trained specialists to conduct effective, cost-efficient methods to remove dangerous fuel loads and return the ecosystem to its natural state, benefiting landowners, local communities, wildlife and forests” McCrady said.
TFS has administered this grant since 2006. Last year, TFS passed through grants for prescribed burning on 2,141 acres for $64,245 in funding by the U.S. Forest Service.
This year, $225,390 is available through the U.S. Forest Service Community Protection Program for applicable prescribed burn projects. Interested parties within a 10-mile radius of a national forest are encouraged to apply.
TFS does not conduct any of the prescribed burns. Upon approval of funding the prescribed burn will be conducted by a contractor of the landowner’s choice. Landowners can expect reimbursement of up to $30 per acre, pending successful burn inspection by TFS.
The deadline for application submission is September 30, 2015.