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RALEIGH – Woodland owners in 52 counties impacted by Hurricane Florence and recognized as federally-declared disaster areas can now apply for cost-share funding for reforestation efforts. The North Carolina General Assembly approved $2.5 million in time-limited funding for reforestation efforts that will be administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Forest Service.

“Hurricane Florence not only devastated agricultural crops, but the storm also caused considerable damage to our valuable forestlands. The Florence Reforestation Fund will help owners rebuild these natural resources,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.  “I am grateful to legislators for providing funding that will help keep North Carolina green and growing.”

Qualifying property in designated counties will be eligible to apply for the program funding. However, funding requests should be for “shovel-ready” projects and practices that can be completed within short time periods. Funds will be administered similar to other NCFS cost-share programs such as the Timber Restoration Fund that was offered following Hurricane Matthew.

Approved practices include site preparation and tree planting as recommended in the applicant’s management plan. Afforestation of open fields or pastureland is also eligible, however, funding for forest stand improvement practices is not available through this program. To receive reimbursement, at least 4.5 acres of approved, completed work must be documented. The maximum funding allocation will be 100 acres per landowner per fiscal year.

Applications need to be submitted to the landowner’s local N.C. Forest Service office for initial review, before they are sent to the NCFS Central Office for final approval. Applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been allocated. Projects should be completed by May 1, 2020.

To learn more about the Florence Reforestation Fund, landowners should call their local county ranger’s office.

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