The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new programs to bring financial assistance to producers, including assistance for timber harvesting and hauling firms, who were impacted by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA will re-open the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) signup for at least 60 days, beginning on April 5, 2021. Please visit the USDA Pandemic Assistance webpage for more information.
Six Applicants Receive DNR Urban Forestry Grants In Second Round Of Funding
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Grant program awarded $104,920 to six Wisconsin communities for urban forestry projects during the second round of our 2021 funding. These funds were originally reserved for the Catastrophic Storm Grant program but were not needed through the winter months.
The communities receiving funds are the City of Cedarburg, the City of Delafield, the Village of Grafton, the City of Menasha, the Village of Shorewood and the City of Sun Prairie. Each grantee will receive an equal part of the available funding for $17,486.50. These urban forestry grants must be matched dollar for dollar.
The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects consistent with state and national goals to increase the urban forest canopy and its benefits. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property.
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Funding Opportunities Available Through the DNR
Local units of government (LUGs) are eligible to apply for four Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grants and two related federal programs administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The annual application deadline is May 1, 2021, for the grant programs listed below.
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship local assistance grant programs:
- Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks (ADLP)
- Urban Green Space (UGS) grants
- Urban Rivers (UR) grants
- Acquisition of Development Rights (ADR)
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Grants Available For Bird City Wisconsin Communities
For the second year, Bird City Wisconsin is awarding small grants to current Bird City communities. Grants totaling $500 will be awarded in each of three categories: creating and protecting bird habitat, educating residents about interactions between birds and people, and protecting birds by reducing threats.
The application deadline is Tuesday, March 31, 2021.
For more information and to apply, click here.
Federal grant opportunities
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wood Innovations Grant
The USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program is a funding opportunity supporting traditional wood utilization projects, expanding wood energy markets and promoting wood as a construction material. The grant supports proposals that significantly expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets throughout the United States to address forest management needs on National Forest Systems and other forest lands. The deadline to submit wood innovations grant proposals is Jan. 20, 2021.
USDA Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Grant
If you are looking for financial assistance for woody biomass energy projects, please explore 2021 Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation funding opportunity request for proposals. The competitive grant can provide funds for shovel-ready projects such as installing a thermally led community wood energy system or building an innovative wood product facility. The deadline to submit Community Wood Energy proposals is Feb. 3, 2021.
More information regarding these funding opportunities, including the requests for proposals, instructions and the pre-application webcast are on the US Forest Service Wood Innovations web page.
Recipients Announced for Urban Forestry Regular and Startup Grants
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry program has selected the 2021 grant year recipients, funding 48 applications in a dollar-for-dollar match.
In addition to annual state funding totaling $524,600, the program received an additional $175,000 in federal funding to mitigate damage associated with the Emerald Ash Borer.
Awards for the 48 applications range from $2,400 to $25,000. In total, the projects cost an estimated $1.8 million. Six additional applicants may also receive second-round funding in spring 2021 if funds reserved for the Catastrophic Storm Grant program are not needed through the winter months.
Of the selected applications, 28 are regular grants, and 20 are startup grants. The six chosen for possible second-round funding are all regular grants.
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Four Communities Kick-Start Urban Forestry Programs With DNR Assistance
By Don Kissinger, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator based in Wausau, Don.Kissinger@wisconsin.gov or 715-348-5746
In 2018, I had been covering the Northwest part of the state for three years due to a vacancy and saw first-hand a lack of proactive community forestry management in some areas, but also a lot of potential.
To help kick-start new urban forestry programs in the region, I proposed that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) use some of our US Forest Service funding to contract an urban forestry consultant to work one-on-one with selected communities. The consultant would meet with community staff, collect tree inventory data and develop individual operations plans.
The selected communities would then agree to apply for our 50-50 matching Startup Grants to implement the developed plan. A similar strategy (minus the startup grant commitment) had worked well in southern Wisconsin in 2012: out of five selected communities (Adams, Elroy, Hillsboro, Mauston and Necedah), four have become Tree City USA communities, three have had staff complete the Community Tree Management Institute (CTMI) and one has hired a full-time forester responsible for their community’s street, park, and cemetery trees.
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What does a DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator do?
By Olivia Witthun, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Plymouth, email@example.com, 414-750-8744
Wisconsin’s urban forests provide a wide range of ecological, economic and social benefits. Urban areas contain nearly 27 million trees with an estimated total replacement value of almost $11 billion. Many don’t realize all the services urban forests provide. They reduce air pollution, mitigate storm water runoff, conserve energy, provide wildlife habitat, increase property values, and attract businesses, tourists and residents. They even improve public health and well-being. The Wisconsin DNR’s Urban Forestry Team seeks to maximize these benefits derived from our state’s community tree canopies.
Thirteen people are part of the DNR Urban Forestry Team, and six of those are Urban Forestry Coordinators (UFCs). Each UFC serves a different region, and within that region, we mainly serve city foresters, local government tree managers and other partners. (UW Extension serves homeowners.) Your UFC is your go-to contact for all things urban forestry.
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Urban wildlife damage abatement/control grants
The Wisconsin DNR is currently accepting applications for Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control (UWDAC) grants. UWDAC grants are available to any town, city, village, county or tribal government located within an urban area (click here for a list of eligible urban areas). Applications must be received on or before December 1st.
UWDAC grants help urban areas develop wildlife plans, implement specific damage abatement and/or control measures for white-tailed deer and/or Canada geese. Eligible projects include:
- Developing an urban wildlife population control plan.
- Monitoring wildlife populations and establishing population estimates.
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A reminder that the application deadline is coming up for 2020 Urban Forestry Grants!
Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in, or conducting their project in, Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2021 Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant! The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. Also available this grant cycle is an additional $175,000 in federal funding to be used for ash tree removals and replacements. EAB treatment will not be funded with these additional monies. Applications can be submitted starting July 1, 2020 until October 1, 2020.
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