Hawaii Watershed Forest Protection Supported By Regional Conservation Partnership Program; USDA grants DLNR $467,000, leveraging state fundsPosted on Jan 14, 2015 in Announcements
DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
|DAVID Y. IGE
For Immediate News Release January 14, 2015
BY REGIONAL CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
USDA grants DLNR $467,000, leveraging state funds
HONOLULU – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the State of Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources is a recipient of more than $467,000 as part of a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The program’s focus on public-private partnerships enables private companies, land owners, local communities and other non-government partners to keep lands resilient, water clean and promote economic growth in a variety of industries.
Carty Chang, DLNR Acting Chairperson said, “Thanks to funding from the Legislature for watershed protection, we have been able to leverage that to obtain additional federal funding, a continuing effort and top priority for the Department. Our forests ensure fresh, clean water because they act like sponges, absorbing mist and rain. Hawaii’s rainfall and water supplies have been steadily declining, a trend expected to accelerate due to climate change. We must act now to protect forests to ensure water for people today and future generations.”
RCPP projects were awarded in all 50 states. Craig Derickson, Acting Director for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Pacific Islands Area said, “This project, the first funded under RCPP in Hawaii, is part of a larger effort to protect our forests under DLNR’s Watershed Initiative. The goal is to provide long-lasting conservation benefits by implementing practices to control invasive species, exclude non-native hooved animals (ungulates), and plant native tree species on forest lands over the next several years through our partnership.”
“Hawaii forests span both private and public lands. Regardless of their location, they provide benefits for all. In addition to providing water, forests control erosion and flooding, and are habitat for plants and wildlife found nowhere else in the world,” Chang said. He added, “With forests providing so many benefits, many partners have come forward to support their protection. We are grateful to the USDA for joining us in recognizing this as a priority for Hawaii.”
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