Wellness

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More than $3.1 million is available for natural resource projects across western Oregon, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking proposals that provide community-based solutions to pressing public lands challenges, such as wildland fire prevention, trash clean-up, watershed restoration, road maintenance or control of noxious weeds.

Funding for selected projects will be provided through the BLM Secure Rural Schools Title II Program. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act funds a variety of activities, including support for county projects, funds for roads and schools, and protection of natural resources. Under Title II, $3.1 million is currently available to build relationships between the BLM and State and local governments, private and nonprofit entities, and landowners for protection, restoration, and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat, and other resource objectives on Federal land and on non-Federal land where projects would benefit the resources on Federal land.

Title II funds support restoration projects that may not otherwise have been completed, such as the improved maintenance of existing infrastructure, enhancement of forest ecosystems, and restoration of land health and water quality. In turn, these projects create additional employment opportunities in western Oregon communities and foster collaborative relationships between those who use public lands and those who manage them. Individuals, non-profit organizations, organized groups, and local governments are encouraged to submit funding applications for natural resource projects that benefit O&C lands in 18 western Oregon counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill.

Individuals and groups interested in submitting projects to the BLM are encouraged to discuss the project proposals with the coordinator for the district in which the project would be primarily implemented:

• Coos Bay District: Megan Harper, m1harper@blm.gov, 541-751-4353, or Stephanie Messerle, smesserl@blm.gov, 541-751-4230

• Medford, Roseburg District and Klamath Falls Field Office of the Lakeview District: Christina Beslin, cbeslin@blm.gov, (541) 618-2371

• Northwest District: Patricia Johnston, pjohnsto@blm.gov, (541) 683-6181

The following map can help determine the appropriate BLM district: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/press-release/files/orwa-rac-western-oregon-map.pdf

The Title II funds are managed by federal agencies. The Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee (RAC), made up of local citizens, will recommend which projects will get funded.

The application forms, criteria, and instructions are available through the grants.gov website using Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement # L21AS00235 BLM OR/WA Secure Rural Schools, Title II Grants. Applications submitted by Feb. 23 will be reviewed by the RAC at a meeting in May, which is when most funds are anticipated to be recommended for distribution. Applications submitted by the April 23 deadline will compete for remaining available funds at the June RAC meeting.

For more information about BLM’s Western Oregon RAC and Secure Rural Schools visit: https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/oregon-washington/western-oregon-rac

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