Grants Available to Protect Hawai’i Forests

July 17, 2018, 10:30 AM HST · Updated July 17, 10:30 AM
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Fire break in wildland urban interface helps to stop fire at Waikoloa Village, 2005. Credit Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO).

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is encouraging non-federal landowners, agencies, and organizations to apply for two US Department of Agriculture grant programs. Both the Wildland-Urban Interface and the Landscape Scale Restoration programs give grants to community organizations to protect their forests and wildlands.

The WUI grant offers funds for wildland fire prevention projects. The Landscape Scale Restoration program provides grants to protect forests under the Hawaii’s Forest Action Plan.

DOFAW is seeking any groups interested in working with them on land ownership and boundary management projects.

According to Michael Walker, a DOFAW fire protection forester, DOFAW is eager to work on WUI projects with community organizations. “Reducing the risk of fire is especially important in Hawai‘i where our watersheds are in close proximity to urban areas and can be damaged by fast-moving wildfires,” Walker said.

Numerous Hawaiʻi projects were funded by both grants in the past. In 2015, the Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization received a WUI grant to implement wildfire protection plans throughout the state. Another successful Hawaiʻi project called Slow the Spread, Spread the Word: Rapid Ohi‘a Death Outreach received a Landscape Scale Restoration grant in 2017.

Any group interested in either grant can submit applications to DOFAW until Aug. 6, 2018. For more information, contact Michael Walker or Tanya Rubenstein at (808) 587-0166.

Additional information on WUI grants can be found online.

More information on Landscape Scale Restoration grants is available online.

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