US allocates $ 54 million for forest restoration work in Arizona | US government and politics

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – The head of the US Forest Service said the agency is allocating $ 54 million for forest restoration work in northern Arizona following the recent cancellation of a contract for a larger multi-year project in the region.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore announced the funding decision Tuesday in Flagstaff during a meeting with two members of the state’s congressional delegation and many other officials, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

The $ 54 million allocation for the federal fiscal year just started will be used to fund work to protect communities and watersheds from forest fires, Moore said.

The work will include rehabilitating logging roads and thinning and prescribed burning of 211 square miles (54,632 hectares) of high priority areas in the forests, officials said.

Citing challenges that made the project unworkable, the Forest Service in September canceled its upcoming contract for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The project aims to reduce the threat of catastrophic forest fires for the forests of Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves.

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema said she was grateful that the Forest Service announced the new funding plan in a timely manner after the contract was canceled and that her office plans to monitor the agency’s progress.

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