YAKIMA, Wash.– The United States Department of Agriculture were in Yakima Tuesday to announce multiple grants that will be affecting Washington State and many parts of the U.S.

“This announcement includes $250 million invested in 158 projects in 31 states for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant, as well as $74 million for the wood innovation grants,” said Xochitl Torres Small, the deputy secretary of the USDA.

USDA says the CWDG grant will be used to protect homes, businesses and infrastructure who are at-risk of wildfires. It will be spread among 31 states, multiple territories, and tribes.

The Wood Innovation Grants which will be spread among 41 U.S. states and American Samoa, to help create markets for wood products and increase wood processing facility capacity.

“Here in Washington, you know that it takes a community to care for a healthy forest, and to make sure that that healthy forest is resilient and also productive, and that’s why these investments are so crucial,” Torres Small said.

The USDA said Yakima County will receive $981,717 from the Wood Innovations Grants, which will go to the Yakama Nation to upgrade tribal mill infrastructure. Kittitas County will receive $148,500 from the CWDG which will be used for the Kittitas County Community Wildfire Protection Plans.

This is the second year of the grants, where in year one, USDA said Kittitas County received a total of $1,170,000 from the CWDG for the Community Firewise Sky Meadows, Ranch Hazardous Fuels, and the Department of Natural Resources. While Yakima County received $2,700,875 from the same grant, for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and Hazardous Fuels Reduction.

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