August 13, 2010 in Idaho, Region

North Idaho, Mont. forest projects get federal funding

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Forest restoration projects in Montana and Idaho are among 10 nationwide that have been chosen to share in $10 million this year through a new federal program.

The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program signed into law last year is meant to bring together groups such as loggers and conservationists that may have once had competing interests.

Western Montana’s 1.5-million-acre Southwestern Crown of the Continent project will receive just over $1 million. Northern Idaho’s 1.4-million-acre Clearwater Basin project will get $1 million.

The projects will restore fish and wildlife habitat, reduce fire risks and fight noxious weeds.

Organizers of the Southwestern Crown project say they were informed today of the decision by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

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