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Forest Service program encourages growth of community forests

The USDA Forest Service published the implementation rules for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which encourages the creation of community forests and fosters rural economies. The intent of the Community Forest Program is to provide financial assistance grants to local governments, American Indian tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations to establish community forests. The program focuses on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation including hiking, hunting and fishing. There is currently $1.5 million in funding available, with a request for $5 million more in the President’s 2012 budget. Please visit the Forest Service’s website for more details: www.fs.fed.us.

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