Arizona Among 13 States To Share $10 Million To Cut Land Wildfire Risks

By Dennis Lambert, Associated Press
Published: Friday, June 12, 2015 - 11:49am

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has announced $10 million for land restoration projects in 13 states in a strategy to reduce catastrophic wildfires.

Nearly $4 million, which is the largest share of the $10 million, will be split between Oregon, Nevada and California.  The plan is to restore sagebrush shrub by controlling juniper expansion.

Southern Arizona will get $150,000 for a project focusing on control of buffelgrass, a fire-adapted invasive grass, and help restore the natural fire regime to the biologically sensitive Sonoran Desert.

Utah will get more than $2.6 million to remove pinyon pine and juniper and establish vegetation to restore the resilience of the landscape.

Jewell said Friday that making land more resilient to fire is essential for vulnerable species and for healthy rangelands, forests and watersheds.

The projects are part of a new Interior Department program to unite federal, tribal, state and non-government groups to create fire-resilient landscapes.

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