NFWF Awards $2.88M in Longleaf Grants
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced its first round of grants totaling $2.88 M by its Longleaf Stewardship Fund to 16 worthy longleaf restoration projects. Established in 2011, the Longleaf Stewardship Fund is an innovative public-private partnership supported by the US Department of Defense, the USDA Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Fish and Wildlife and Service and Southern Company. Speaking at the press event in Florida, Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa explained that restoring longleaf requires approaches other than “business as usual” because “the job is simply too big and complex for any entity to tackle single-handedly.” By creating the Stewardship Fund, the participating partners can combine financial and technical resources to accelerate implementation of the Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine, as part of the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative.
A highly competitive process led to the selection of the initial 16 projects in seven states. The projects involve such diverse objectives as increasing prescribed burning, ensuring development of local seed sources and developing conservation outcomes and performance measures. All told, NFWF projects that this initial round of funding will restore more than 11,000 acres of longleaf and enhance wildlife habitat on more than 122,000 additional acres. Achieving these on-the-ground results is expected to involve working with more than 1,600 private landowners.