The Forest Service made this announcement today...

"The U.S. Forest Service announced today nearly $2.3 million in grants to help communities in eight states secure community forests.

"These forests are established through placed based support with benefits reaching far beyond the local community," said Chief Tom Tidwell. "This program conserves key parts of the nation's forest for future generations, while providing thousands of Americans enhanced access to the great outdoors."

The Community Forest Program (CFP) protects forests that are important for people and the places they call home. Community forests provide many benefits such as places to recreate and enjoy nature; they protect habitat, water quality and other environmental benefits, and they can provide economic benefits through timber resources. The program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations working to establish community forests with a focus on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation opportunities.

The grants will be matched with an additional $4.9 million in funding from other partners on the projects, and represent a strategic investment in local communities, a key component of the President's America's Great Outdoors Initiative."