WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed $4 million in funding for New Mexico through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) aimed at reducing the risk of severe wildfires, supporting local economies, creating jobs and enhancing forest and watershed health. These funds, announced today by the Biden-Harris Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, were made available through a combination of funding from the Infrastructure Law and annual appropriations.
The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) was established in 2009 to select high-priority forest restoration projects as designed and proposed by local community collaborative groups. Since it was established, CFLRP projects have demonstrated that large, landscape scale restoration projects can improve forest and watershed health while bringing economic development to rural communities. When CFLRP reached its authorized funding cap in 2018, Senator Heinrich led the effort to reauthorize the program and double its spending cap in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Right now we are witnessing why working to reduce severe wildfires and protect watersheds in New Mexico is so important. That’s why I’ve fought to make Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects a top priority so that communities have the resources they need to be prepared for fire season. Now with funding from the Infrastructure Law, we can use these projects as facilitators for new jobs and economic activity, while protecting communities for generations to come," said Heinrich.
The projects selected for FY22 investments include:
- $3 million to Rio Chama, a 3.8-million-acre project that spans lands managed by Tribes, states, the Bureau of Land Management and private landowners. This collective vision to reduce wildfire risk has galvanized communities in this landscape. The project will increase resilience to catastrophic wildfire and other natural disturbance events, sustaining healthy forests and watersheds for future generations.
- $1 million to the Zuni Mountains to extend the project on 253,000 acres to increase resilience to climate change, uncharacteristic crown fires, and support healthy communities and wildlife habitat. This project provides a long-term supply of wood for businesses and creates a suite of restoration-oriented businesses.