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Forest property owners can receive grants

— Property owners in parts of Okanogan and Ferry counties can get grants for forest hazard reduction projects.

During the 2013-2015 biennium, the state Legislature appropriated more than $1 million in forest hazard reduction funding for private landowners in the Forest Health Hazard Warning Area in Okanogan and Ferry counties. The money is administered through the state Department of Natural Resources.

The money will help landowners cover up to 50 percent of the cost of thinning, slash disposal, pruning and other practices that improve forest health by reducing tree density and target wildfire risk by removing fuels.

Many forest stands in the region are too dense, which weakens the trees and makes them more susceptible to damage from insects such as western spruce budworm or pine bark beetles, the agency said.

Department of Natural Resource foresters are available to meet with landowners, assess the health of their forests and make recommendations for achieving landowners’ goals and objectives.

Assistance is available by contacting Steve Harris with the agency’s Colville office.

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