The U.S. Forest Service announced earlier this week $3.5 million in grants as part of a new program to support jobs and healthy forests in communities across the U.S.
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations working to establish community forests with a focus on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation opportunities.
The federal grants will be matched with an additional $8.5 million in funding from other partners on the projects, and represent a strategic investment in local communities, a key component of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.
All projects must ensure public access to the protected lands, and the communities must be involved in the process of developing a forest plan and determining long-term goals for the forests.
The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians will be receiving $302,300 for projects on Hall Mountain in N.C. Here's what the press release had to say:
The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians will conserve this highly significant 108-acre Hall Mountain tract, approximately six miles north of Franklin, N.C. The tribe plans to incorporate a scenic hiking trail system that will exhibit uses of natural resources traditionally used by the Cherokee. These exhibits will serve as educational learning centers for regional public schools and organizations like Boy and Girl Scouts.
To see the rest of the grants announced from around the country, please click here.
Hiking in the Smokies