Along the borderlands of Georgia and Florida, one of the largest contiguous forested areas in the southeastern United States, dry conditions and increased woody debris have resulted in frequent catastrophic wildfires. This critical threat to the local community has led to strong collaboration between public and private land managers. To facilitate wildfire protection, restore native ecosystems, and address related social needs of the region, SFI will provide the Nature Conservancy (TNC) a grant of $56,000 over a two year period.
TNC’s work will address three critical issues. Through a partnership with Job Corps, TNC will provide training to underserved youth, increasing the availability of forestry technicians within the region. These boots on the ground will facilitate application of prescribed fire, increasing landscape resilience, improve habitat and ultimately protect forests. Additionally, TNC will work with the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners to engage private and family forest owners in proactive management of target priority fire hazard areas. This project aligns strongly with SFI’s mission to connect communities to forests while educating the next generation of leaders. It also supports SFI’s goals to enhance and restore forests of high conservation value.
The Nature Conservancy will partner with Job Corps, the U.S. Forest Service, The Langdale Company, and SFI Program Participant Rayonier. Additional funding support will be provided by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.