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For the first time, funding from Idaho’s Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) is providing seedlings to help with a landscape-scale restoration project on private land following the 2015 Clearwater Complex Fire.

Approximately 19,500 Douglas Fir seedlings were planted on 65 acres in the Lolo Creek drainage, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2015 fires. A portion of timber sale receipts from the Woodrat Timber Salvage, the first GNA timber sale on the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests, will cover the reforestation costs. The timber sale was a result of the Woodrat Fire, one of the many fires that made up the Clearwater Complex. 

An additional 127,000 seedlings were planted on approximately 423 acres of private land in the same drainage through the USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Grant. The grant is not large enough to cover all the private acreages and GNA is helping to bridge a portion of the funding gap.

The LSR restoration project is a three-year restoration project that began last year with 27,000 Ponderosa Pine seedlings planted on 136 acres. By the end of the granting period, a total of 149,000 seedlings will have been planted on approximately 532 acres of burned private lands.

Planting was scheduled to continue through April 19.

This project complements recovery plans and restoration work on adjacent lands. By crossing all jurisdictions and addressing the entire drainage at a landscape scale, soils will be stabilized, decreasing the risk of landslides and weed invasion, protecting riparian areas, and improving overall forest and watershed health.

This GNA project partnership between the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forests builds on the success previously experienced through the Good Neighbor Authority while increasing the scale of restoration work accomplished in the Clearwater Basin. The use of the money off of federal land is authorized through the Wyden Authority in conjunction with Good Neighbor Authority.

The Lolo Drainage and properties within were selected based on burn severity as well as the high likelihood of restoration success.

Good Neighbor Authority. Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) enables the Forest Service to partner with the Idaho Department of Lands to achieve restoration and resilient landscape objectives across ownership boundaries through cooperative agreements.

The goal of GNA in Idaho is to increase the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration activities on federal forests. These cooperative efforts can help improve forest health, reduce fuels and threats to communities and watersheds from catastrophic wildfires, and create more jobs and economic benefits, including providing more fiber to Idaho forest products markets.

Landscape Scale Restoration LSR. USDA Forest Services State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration competitive grants help State forestry agencies meet the priorities of their Forest Action Plans, while also helping the Forest Service meet regional and national needs.  LSR grants in Idahotarget private lands that are at extreme risk of landslides, insect and disease outbreaks, and weed invasions post fire; complimenting recovery plans and restoration work on federal and state lands and supporting the overall forest and watershed health crossing all jurisdictional boundaries.