Governor Steve Bullock announced today he’s committing $1.5 million of state fire suppression funds for various forest restoration and fuel reduction projects.
Montana State Forester Bob Harrington says this is a great use of that money:
"This is what we view as a double or a triple win where we can get some good work on the ground in an expedited manner and we can also benefit folks that need it for their jobs."
The state fire suppression account helps Montana cover its share of firefighting costs. That money’s set aside before the fires burn.
State law allows up to $5 million of that account to be used per biennium for restoration and fuel reduction projects. With this new funding, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation expects about 2,700 acres of forests to be cut or intentionally burned to reduce fire danger. DNRC says that should yield 6 million board feet of saw logs and 800 truckloads of pulp logs.
In the past four years, $4 million from the suppression account was awarded to 25 separate projects on Montana’s private, state and tribal lands.