The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and International Paper have announced grants totaling $2.1 million in support of restoring forestland and working forests in three priority regions in the Southeast: the Carolina Low Country Forests; the Cumberland Plateau of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee; and the Piney Woods of Texas and Louisiana.
Thirteen projects will receive grants through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, a public-private partnership between NFWF and International Paper which aims to conserve and restore Southern forests that provide critical habitat for endangered wildlife and economic opportunities for local communities. The grants, in turn, will be used to leverage nearly $4.8 million in additional funding and in-kind support that ultimately conserves more than 6,100 acres and enhances approximately 22,600 acres of longleaf and shortleaf pine and riparian forest habitat.
Established in March 2013, the initiative has invested over $5.4 million in projects so far and obtained more than $11.5 million in additional funds from grant partners, for a total investment in forestland conservation of nearly $17 million.
“The grants...will protect and enhance critical forest landscapes throughout the Southeast, improve management of private and public forests, and restore populations of at-risk wildlife and plant species,” said Eric Schwaab, vice president for NFWF’s conservation programs. “The Forestland Stewards Initiative, a landmark partnership between NFWF and International Paper, continues to revitalize some of the nation’s most biologically diverse habitats.”