Remember that run-down road through national forest land that you hope could be repaired? And that Forest Service trail that could use improvements? Now may be the time to get them fixed.
The Del Norte County Resource Advisory Committee is requesting project proposals to use a pot of money anticipated for RAC coffers.
Proposals must be submitted by Aug. 24 and should benefit forest resources through projects like watershed restoration, road and trail maintenance, forest health or habitat improvement.
“My big thing is projects that will use local employment and get some permanent fixes,” said RAC member and county Supervisor Mike Sullivan, highlighting repairs done to French Hill Road and Patrick Creek Road with the last batch of funding.
RAC Chairman Clarke Moore encouraged the type of projects that can boost eco-tourism in Del Norte like the restoration of the Old Kelsey Trail off of South Fork Road.
Eco-tourism has thrived in places like Ashland, and people travel from all over the world to escape to the forests we call home — and spend money, Moore said.
“This is an international spot here,” Moore said. “We could keep people here for a month.”
The form for proposals is easy to fill out and the Forest Service will inform applicants early on if the project won’t qualify.
Moore pointed to the clean-up of more than 20 fallen dead trees on the South Kelsey Trail in the Siskiyou Wilderness Area as an example for projects.
Funding is expected to be available thanks to the recent one-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.
The Forest Service listed possible objectives for projects:
• Road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration;
• Soil productivity improvement;
• Improvements in forest ecosystem health;
• Watershed restoration and maintenance;
• Restoration, maintenance and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat;
• Control of noxious and exotic weeds; and
• Re-establishment of native species.
“Projects may occur on public, tribal or private lands, but must benefit National Forest System lands or resources,” said a statement from the Forest Service.
The RAC is a committee of volunteers from a broad cross-section of the community that advises Six Rivers National Forest on how to use money allocated by the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors through the Payments to States Act of 2000. The act was designed to help counties that historically received significant funding from the timber industry.