The CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources’ Division of Agriculture-CNMI Forestry was recently awarded its 2013 grant totaling $185,000 by the U.S. State and Private Forest Service – Region 5.
The funds will be used to address its three missions: “to conserve working forest lands, to protect forests from harm, and to enhance public benefits from trees and forests.”
The grant funding is awarded for the following programs: Cooperative Forest Health and Invasive Species, Forest Stewardship, and Urban and Community Forestry.
The Cooperative Forest Health and Invasive Species program focuses on tree health and recovery, reduction of invasive tree species, and reduction of forest pests. The program continues to emphasize the prevention and reduction of harmful pest’s continual influx into the CNMI. Program objectives include educating visitors and communities about damaging forest pest and its effect in the CNMI.
The Forest Stewardship Program assists qualifying landowners who are interested in improving their private forestland. The program collaborates with non-industrial, private landowners in hopes to restore the loss of natural habitat, minimize soil erosion, improve forest tree diversity, and enhance the general private forest landscape.
The Urban and Community Forestry program focuses on beautification of parks, beaches, and public places by planting trees and shrubs. The program aims to preserve the limited and fragile natural resources and to contribute to the island’s health and aesthetic qualities by establishing more green spaces in urban areas.
The 2013 grant award is approved for 15-month period starting from July 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014. For more information visit http://cnmiforestry.webs.com / or call 670-256-3320 or 3321. (DLNR)