COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Forest Service has awarded $522,162 in grants to Texas landowners for the treatment of more than 18,000 acres with prescribed burning.
Prescribed burning is an effective land management tool to reduce wildfire risk, improve wildlife habitat and promote a healthy forest ecosystem. The practice of prescribed burning eliminates brush, weeds, dried vegetation and downed trees and also fosters seed and plant regeneration, reduces invasive plants and restores soil nutrients.
Through four programs targeting different priorities across the state, Texas A&M Forest Service awarded 84 grants for a total of 18,175 acres. More than 300 applications were scored on a competitive basis to select the best use of the funding.
Weldon Dent, Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Specialist, said the grant programs provide landowners with an opportunity to remove hazardous fuels from their property in a safe and controlled manner.
“Unmanaged vegetation can fuel wildfires,” Dent said. “Prescribed burning is one way to reduce the risk of large-scale fires while maximizing the benefits of small-scale fires.”
Texas A&M Forest Service administers various prescribed fire grant programs. Each program has its own goals, with at least one program available in every county in Texas. The grants will reimburse landowners to offset the cost of having a prescribed burn conducted on their property by a certified and insured prescribed burn manager.
The Community Protection Program – Prescribed Fire Grant is available for property owners within 10 miles of a national forest in East Texas as well as property owners within 10 miles of the Caddo and LBJ national grasslands in North Texas.
The State Fire Assistance for Mitigation Central and East Texas – Prescribed Fire Grant is available to all counties in the eastern part of the state, from Goliad County in South Texas to Cooke County along the Red River.
The Neches River and Cypress Basin Wastershed Restoration Program – Prescribed Fire Grant is for prescribed burning in priority East Texas watersheds.
The State Fire Assistance Mitigation – Plains Prescribed Fire Grant is available for residents in parts of the Panhandle, West Texas and South Texas.
Texas A&M Forest Service does not conduct these prescribed burns. Grant recipients must select a certified and insured prescribed burn manager to be eligible for reimbursement.
For more information about the prescribed fire grant program, visit tfsweb.tamu.edu/cppgrant.
–Texas A&M Forest Service