The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing a further $490 million to reduce wildfire risk across the western United States. Eleven landscapes in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington have now been added to the Forest Service’s original 10 landscape project areas as part of a ten-year strategy to protect communities and improve resilience in America’s Forests. Combined, these efforts represent a total USDA investment of $930 million across 45 million acres (18 million hectares).
“It is no longer a matter of if a wildfire will threaten many western communities in these landscapes, it is a matter of when,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The need to invest more and to move quickly is apparent. This is a crisis and President Biden is treating it as one.”
“We are building on the investments announced last year and expanding the Forest Service effort to cover 21 landscapes where communities, critical infrastructure and our natural resources are most in need of protection from the growing threat of wildfires,” added USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), Dr. Homer Wilkes. “This is part of our agency-wide focus to reduce wildfire risk across the country. We will use every tool we have to address this crisis and make your communities safer.”