Community Forest Health Grants

The state grant-in-aid program for Forest Health programs is off and running. Beginning with a surprisingly slow start following the sun-setting of the federal oak wilt program, the state program still has dollars available for communities with defined insect and disease problems they need to address. These funds are available as $1 to $10,000 grants that can be used this year. Grant contract language permits the funds to be carried over to cover 1999 activities.

Community Forest Health Grants can be used for oak wilt in ANY community or township but can also be used for a much wider variety of pest suppression activities. These funds could be used to suppress forest tent caterpillar outbreaks by spraying Bt or to trap damaging bark beetle populations. Innovative programs can also be funded. For example, a rapidly developing community could have a "caterpillar" problem, the big yellow ones with treads, ie. construction damage. These fund could assist in developing a community-based education program focused on preventing and treating construction damage in developing forested areas. These funds can not be used for routine maintenance, such as, mulching, pruning, etc.

Interested? Contact your local DNR Forester or the Forest Health Specialist listed at the back of this Newsletter.