The Wasco/Hood River County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has been approved to accept applications for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) to address 2018 wildfire damages, according to a press release.

EFRP was established to assist Nonindustrial Private Forest (NIPF) landowners to rehabilitate timber ground damaged by natural disasters. Practices available under the EFRP Signup include removing debris and dead trees from timberland, replanting timber and other tree species located on NIPF lands that are deemed necessary by the Oregon Dept of Forestry (ODF). Common practices and land not eligible for EFRP include planting of ornamental, nursery or Christmas trees; building roads not located on NIPF; and tree thinning for management purposes.

EFRP provides payments to eligible owners of NIPF land to enable the owners to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. EFRP sign-up will begin on June 17 and end on Aug. 16.

After applications are received, the ODF will provide technical assistance by evaluating the damage and developing a plan to restore the NIPF land. The local FSA County Committee will determine land eligibility and approve applications.

In order to meet eligibility requirements, NIPF land must have existing tree cover or had tree cover immediately before the natural disaster occurred and be sustainable for growing trees. The land must also be owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land. The natural disaster must have resulted in damage that if untreated would impair or endanger the natural resources on the land and/or materially affect future use of the land.

Contact the Wasco/Hood River County FSA office, 541-298-8559 est. 2, to make an appointment. You may also visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov  for more information.  The Wasco/Hood River County FSA Office is located at 2325 River Rd, Ste. 1, in The Dalles.

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