A newly allocated $4.9 million state grant will help a consortium of San Diego-area agencies restore and maintain local forests, it was announced Thursday.
A key priority for the multi-agency effort funded by the Cal Fire Forest Health program will be saving the last mixed-conifer forest in the region through combustion-fuel reduction and reforestation, according to the greater San Diego County Resource Conservation District.
The dense wooded area on Palomar Mountain has experienced heavy losses in the last two decades due to severe drought and wildfire, according to forestry officials.
“Our collaborative, which includes state, federal, tribal and private landowners, is joining forces to prevent another catastrophic loss of forest habitat in San Diego County,” RCD Executive Director Sheryl Landrum said.
The Cal Fire grant was made available through California Climate Investment, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars toward achieving the state’s climate-change goals.
“With these newly awarded funds, we can now partner with like-minded agencies in delivering multiple sustainable benefits to Palomar Mountain to improve forest health, wildlife habitat and community protection,” Landrum said.
Taking part in the project along with the RCD will be the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, Cleveland National Forest, La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians, Pauma Band of Mission Indians, Caltech, and Palomar Land & Cattle Co.
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