Monday, July 15, 2024

North Idaho forests get $4.8M investment in wildfire mitigation

| July 3, 2024 1:05 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A new wildfire mitigation project will seek to improve overall forest health here, Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced.

Called the Highway 95 Hazardous Fuels Project, it will bring $2.2 million to state and private lands and $2.8 million to federal lands in North Idaho. One of 10 projects selected nationwide through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, the project will address 829,453 acres of high-risk forestlands in Kootenai, Bonner, and Boundary counties over the next three years, aiming to mitigate hazardous fuels with active treatment of more than 7,700 acres.   

“This project approaches wildfire threat from the landscape perspective, regardless of who owns or manages the land,” said Jeff Lau, North Idaho shared stewardship coordinator for the Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands. “By partnering across agencies and with private landowners, we are working toward a level of regional wildfire resilience that no single entity could achieve on its own.”  

The project addresses an increase in landowners requesting assistance with hazardous fuels mitigation while also continuing educational opportunities including community public meetings, informational mailings and forestry education field-days. 

“We’re excited to be able to continue the work and partnerships we’ve built with previous projects including Scattered Lands,” said IDL State Forester Craig Foss.