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New grant to support healthy forests

Aug. 28, 2013, Washington, D.C. - A new project will engage forest landowners and water utilities to support innovative ways to promote watershed protection and maintenance on privately-owned forest lands.

The SFI Conservation Grant will help the Endowment educate community stakeholders, water utilities and landowners and ultimately develop a financial instrument that will compensate forest landowners for protecting and maintaining the health of the watershed they manage. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about two-thirds of their freshwater resources originate in forests and experts have acknowledged the important role of forestlands in protecting water quality.

"The most cost-effective way for a community to ensure clean water is to maintain their watershed in a healthy, forested area," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. "We're excited to support new tools that encourage forest owners and water utilities to work together to conserve watersheds. This project will provide us with a greater understanding of what is needed to advance watershed protection and management."

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation established September 21, 2006, at the request of the governments of the United States and Canada in accordance with the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the two countries. The Endowment is one of three entities designated to share in a one-time infusion of funds to support "meritorious initiatives" in the U.S. It has been endowed with $200 million under the terms of the SLA.

August 28, 2013  By  Amie Silverwood

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