Due in part to the Sierra Club’s leadership role in building a strong conservation collaborative in the northeast, the USDA has allocated a substantial amount of funding for wildlife habitat conservation to the New York and New England region. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced that $5.9 million in federal funding will be available to assist forest land owners with forest land planning and management under the New England-New York Forestry Initiative. The main goal of this effort is to support private landowners in their efforts to improve forest health and productivity, wildlife habitat and water quality.
Maine will be receiving $2 million of these funds, and in each state the funds will be used to pay private landowners who agree to improve wildlife habitat on their lands. The northeast is one of only two areas in the country slated to receive these allocations. USDA officials attribute the strong collaborative effort of Keeping Maine’s Forests, in which Sierra Club plays a key role, and the impressive positive public participation in the New Hampshire and Maine America’s Great Outdoors listening sessions in elevating the national importance of the region.