Michigan Department of Natural Resources awards wildfire protection plan funding to five counties

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, has established grants to aid communities in developing wildfire protection plans.

Paul Kollmeyer, a fire prevention specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan’s designated liaison for the Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program, has identified five counties --Crawford, Manistee, Marquette, Oceana, and Wexford -- that will receive funding to assist in developing a community wildfire protection plan.

Local units of government, tribes, and formally organized citizen groups were eligible to submit applications for the funding. Awarded projects must be completed by August 1, 2014. This is a reimbursement grant program, i.e., federal grant monies awarded under this program will be paid when grant projects are completed. Eligible activities include CWPP plan development, education and outreach, and hazard mitigation training.

This is the second round of CWPP funding awarded in Michigan through the collaboration between MDNR and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. In late 2008, a similar application process was conducted, and in early 2009, the counties of Baraga, Lake, Luce, and Newaygo as well as Whitefish Township in Chippewa County were awarded CWPP grants. Those projects were all completed by fall 2011. 

MSU Extension Firewise staff housed in or nearby the counties of Crawford, Manistee, Marquette, Oceana, and Wexford will play a key role in the education and outreach portion of these newly identified projects. Firewise offers a variety of printed informational materials at its disposal, and staff can conduct presentations for youth and adult audiences, and can also provide educational exhibits at community events. 

For more information about the Michigan Firewise Communities project, visit the Michigan State University Extension Firewise website.

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