Forest restoration projects help forests recover from past damages and keep them healthy for all of us to benefit from. Restoration projects help build sustainable rural economies by promoting local businesses built on restoration and recreation, not clear cutting and resource extraction. The Wilderness Society is working on three forest restoration top priorities:
Legacy Roads and Trails
Created in 2008, the Forest Service uses Legacy Roads & Trails Program funds to clean up polluted rivers by removing old roads that are no longer needed, in disrepair and dumping polluted sediment into our rivers. For recreational trails and roads that provide important access, the Forest Service uses Legacy Roads & Trails funds to maintain them so that they can continue to provide safe and reliable access. The Legacy Roads & Trails Program also creates high-wage jobs by funding contractors in rural communities across the country to do environmental restoration work. Between 800 and 1,200 jobs are created or maintained through this program on average annually. The Program also leverages millions of dollars of matching funds annually from non-federal and federal sources to increase the scale of projects.
However, President Trump has proposed to eliminate this program. Without adequate Legacy Roads & Trails funding, the Forest Service won’t be able to fix roads and protect our rivers and drinking water.
Legacy Roads is a win-win for the nation. It’s a small investment that yields big benefits to small businesses, rural communities, taxpayers, and our national forests.
Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program
The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) encourages collaborative and science-based ecosystem restoration of priority national forest landscapes while benefitting local communities. This recently created program has already proven to be a success.
Integrated Resource Restoration
Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) is a pilot experiment to see if combining existing funds into a single pot for restoration will get better restoration work done on the ground. The pilot was approved in 2012, so we are still in the very early stages of this new experiment.
- Healthy Headwaters Project:
- USDA Integrated Resource Restoration: