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Four Forest Restoration Initiative Receives Millions From U.S. Forest Service

The next phase of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, received a much-needed boost from the U.S. Forest Service Tuesday. Chief of U.S. Forest Service, Randy Moore, announced they are committing $54-million next fiscal year to speed up the needs for high-priority projects on 135-thousand acres of forest land over the next ten years to ensure success of 4FRI. The commitment was needed after the Forest Service cancelled the RFP of Phase Two of the project earlier this year. Senator Kyrsten Sinema attended Tuesday’s meeting with Coconino County officials to finalize the deal. The county Board of Supervisors claim wildfires and post-wildfire flooding are the greatest public safety threats to the county. The next phase of 4FRI will attempt to focus on the improvement of conditions by addressing cost and risk reduction, incentives, market conditions, availability of material, transportation, and fire liability risks. The 4FRI initiative encompasses the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Tonto national forests, engaging them in a collaborative, landscape-scale initiative designed to restore fire-adapted ecosystems in the Southwestern Region.