The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest will receive $780,000 for forest restoration projects in 2016 through a program of the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Methow District Ranger Mike Liu said some of the funding would be targeted toward the Lost Driveway project, which will conduct thinning on about 2,400 acres of national forest lands in the Mazama area.
He said the amount of the funding available for the project is still being determined.
The first phase of the Lost Driveway thinning project focuses on thinning trees on about 1,500 acres of forest lands that abut private property around Lost River Road, Driveway Butte, Sandy Butte and Lucky Jim Bluff. Work began on the project last fall.
The funding granted to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest builds on existing collaborative efforts to improve landscape resiliency and forest health and reduce community risk, according to an announcement from NRCS.
Project activities will focus on implementing forest and aquatic projects on public lands and funding strategic fuels reduction and aquatic habitat restoration projects on private and state lands.
The projects aim to increase the pace and scale of restoration across the region, while enhancing habitat and protecting water quality and quantity.
Groups collaborating in the Okanogan-Wenatchee forest restoration efforts include the Washington Department of Natural Resources; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; The Nature Conservancy; conservation districts; Yakama Nation; Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network; North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative; and Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative.