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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, December 21, 2015

Los Padres Invites Public to Attend Open House at UCSB’s Bren Center

GOLETA, CA, December 14, 2015…Los Padres National Forest officials today announced—in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)—that $11 million in grants will be issued over the next five years to restore watersheds impacted by the Zaca and Piru Fires. The first round of funding will be discussed at an open house Dec. 15 at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren Hall in Room 1414 from 3:00-5:00 pm.
“Our partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation began this summer, and we are excited about the opportunities to fund forest watershed restoration projects that will involve local stakeholders and resource experts,” said Los Padres Forest Supervisor Robert Baird. “The resources and leveraging that NFWF brings will allow us to increase the scope and pace of our ecological restoration efforts, and lead to a healthier, more resilient forest with improved habitat for fish and wildlife.”
The Zaca Fire in 2007 and the Piru Fire in 2003 were noteworthy wildfire events affecting the Los Padres National Forest. Combined, these two fires burned over 280,000 acres of National Forest lands and left a significant impact on the landscapes, watersheds, and ecosystems of the region. The Los Padres has partnered with NFWF to restore the watersheds and ecosystems affected by the Zaca and Piru Fires. Through this program, NFWF will invest in projects that provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits, promote ecological resilience to future wildfire events, improve the Forest’s capacity to identify and address resource management issues stemming from these fires, and repair critical infrastructure such as trails, and fuel breaks damaged by the fire, particularly where they have a discernable connection to the goals of ecological restoration.
“This is an exciting partnership to help restore a landscape impacted by catastrophic fire,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. “With more areas across California being impacted by fires, our ability to help the Forest Service accomplish their restoration needs will not only make the watersheds more healthy, but protect critical assets important for nearby residents.”
Members of the public interested in learning more about this unique partnership and opportunities to participate are invited to attend the the December 15 open house from 3:00-5:00pm at UCSB’s Bren Hall to discuss the partnership and the Request for Proposals, which can also be found on the NFWF website: www.nfwf.org/lpnf

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