DNR Announces Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant Recipients

By Nicolle Spafford, DNR Program Specialist, Nicolle.Spafford@wisconsin.gov or 715-896-7099

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the recipients of the Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants to assist with damage sustained during the July 28, 2021 extreme storm events throughout the state.

The following five communities will divide $104,920.00 in fiscal year 2022 state grant dollars: Marathon County, City of Omro, City of Ripon, City of Tomahawk and the City of Watertown.

Catastrophic storm grants typically range from $4,000 to $50,000. Due to the high number of applications this year, applicants could receive a maximum of $22,965. Each applicant received at least partial funding. The grants do not require a dollar-for-dollar match.

The DNR’s Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant program funds tree repair, removal or replacement within urban areas following a catastrophic storm event for which the governor has declared a State of Emergency under s. 323.10, Wis. Stats.

On July 28, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #128 declaring a State of Emergency following severe storms affecting several regions of the state causing widespread damage, downed trees and power lines, power outages, and road closures due to debris. Gov. Evers’ executive order directs state agencies to help those affected by the storms. It also allows the Wisconsin National Guard to be called to active duty, as the adjutant general deems necessary, to provide assistance supporting local authorities with their recovery efforts. 

In the event of a State of Emergency, the program allocates 20% of its available annual funds to aid communities, nonprofits and Tribes.

A catastrophic storm is defined as damage to urban forests caused by snow, ice, hail, wind or tornado. A catastrophic storm does not include insect infestation or disease, forest fire, drought or water saturation due to flooding.

For information on how to apply, visit the DNR’s Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants webpage.

Contact your Wisconsin Emergency Management representative for all other disaster assistance.

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