Grants Available to Improve Watersheds and Forest Health

Grant applications are accepted by the Eastern Arizona Counties Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for projects that can be funded under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000, as re-authorized in 2013. Grantees receive funding on a reimbursement basis.

The primary location for projects is intended to be on federal lands on the Tonto National Forest (Globe, Pleasant Valley, Tonto Basin, or Payson districts), the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (all districts), and the Coronado National Forest (Safford Ranger District). However, projects can be on non-federal lands within Greenlee, Gila, Navajo, Graham, and Apache counties where projects would benefit resources on or people using the National Forest. The Act authorizes grants to federal agencies, state and local governments, and private and non-profit entities for projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure such as roads, trails, recreation facilities or projects that improve forest health and restore and improve land health and water quality.

The following types of projects are eligible:

  • Road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration
  • Soil productivity improvement
  • Improvements in forest ecosystem health
  • Watershed and stream restoration and maintenance
  • Restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife habitat
  • Control of noxious weeds
  • Re-establishment of native species

Each project proposal will be evaluated on cost-effectiveness, extent of partner involvement, educational value, improvement to the quality of human life including employment opportunities, and benefits to ecosystem health. Projects will generally be less than $75,000 though worthy proposals may be considered at higher funding levels.

Potential applicants should discuss their proposal with the closest District Ranger before submitting an application, since the proposal must have District Ranger support before it can be considered for funding. The Act allows RAC funds to be used for the costs of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis or for on-the-ground project implementation.  All project proposals for on-the-ground project work need to be NEPA sufficient at the time of the proposal. 

News Releases will be posted to this website when applications will be accepted by the Eastern Arizona Counties Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).

The following projects are examples of what has been done with RAC Grants.

  • Double Chip sealing of County Roads on or providing access to the National Forests
  • Weed Eradication efforts on the Forest Service            
  • Hazardous fuels reduction - to include pile burning and broadcast burning of forest areas
  • Hazardous corner removal on County Road located on the forest
  • Trail maintenance
  • Tamarisk removal
  • Purchase of bear proof trash containers