National Forest_Dependent Rural Communities

Provide accelerated assistance to rural communities faced with acute economic problems associated with Federal, State or private sector resource management decisions and policies and that are located in or near a national forest and are economically dependent upon forest resources.

Aid is extended
to these rural communities to help them develop strategic action plans to diversify their economic base and to improve the economic, social, and environmental well-being of rural areas.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Training and placing out-of-work loggers into environmental restoration jobs in northern California, Oregon and Washington.

Developing and implementing an ecosystem management plan which includes commercial opportunities for utilizing small diameter, second-growth pine in Montezuma, Delores, and La Plata counties in southwestern Colorado.

Strategic planning resulting in maintaining the rural character, yet enhancing social and economic benefits of community change in Wakulla County, Florida.

Local development and construction of a riverfront park in Libby, Montana.

Establishment of the Forest Technology and Training Institute in Clallum County, Washington.

Increasing awareness and development of non-farm industries in the historically agriculturally based area around Rust College, Mississippi, with a special emphasis on recreation and tourism opportunities as well as value-added forest products.

Ecotourism training and small business management in Newton County, Arkansas.

Establishing state-of-the-art computer technology in Wasatch County, Utah, to help revise the master plan.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - Refer to Appendix IV of the Catalog for Regional and Area State and Private Forestry offices of the Forest Service and for addresses and telephone numbers of Regional Foresters and Area Director of the Forest Service.


Program Accomplishments

Since the initiation of the Economic Recovery Program, direct assistance has grown from helping 125 eligible communities in fiscal year 1992 to over 800 in fiscal year 2001. Many of the local action plans include activities related to tourism, value- added natural resource enterprises, marketing, special forest products, or building community capacity through leadership or organizational development and training/education projects.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Eligible economically disadvantaged rural areas may request assistance in identifying opportunities that will promote economic improvement, diversification and revitalization.

Assistance is coordinated through a community action team and plan.

Programs may include upgrade of existing industries, development of new economic activity in non-forest related industries, technical assistance, training and education directed towards meeting the community's planned goals.

Assistance requested will be coordinated with other USDA agencies and targeted to provide immediate help to those rural communities in greatest need.

Grants and technical assistance are available to those rural communities meeting the eligibility requirements.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant must be a general purpose local government or tribe represented by a nonprofit corporation or institution under State or Federal law to promote broad based economic development having a population of not more than 10,000; or any county that is not contained within a metropolitan statistical area.

In both cases, the county must derive 15 percent or greater primary and secondary labor and proprietary income from forestry and forest related industries, such as recreation and tourism, range, minerals, and wildlife.

In all cases, the community or county must also be within 100 miles of the boundary of a national forest.

Communities or counties associated solely with national grasslands are not eligible.

Individual businesses are not eligible for direct assistance.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Rural communities as defined in the Law.

Credentials/Documentation

When eligibility criteria are met, communities may request assistance in identifying opportunities and implementing action that will promote economic, social, and environmental well-being, including diversification and sustainable development.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Not applicable. Contact Regional or Local Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. No community grants are reviewed or awarded at the National Office.

Award Procedures

Established by the Regional Office.

Deadlines

Communities are requested to submit form SF-424(A) with SF-424 application and other required forms as advised by the Regional Office.

Authorization

National Forest Dependent Rural Communities Economic Diversification Act of 1990, Section 2371, Subtitle G, Chapter 2, Section 2373, Public Law 101-624, 7 U.S.C. 6611, as amended.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The maximum is 60 days.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Renewals

SF-424(A) with SF-424 application is required to amend the allotment amount or length of commitment. Other requirements may be established by the regional office.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The Federal contribution to the overall implementation of an action plan shall not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of the plan, including administrative and other costs.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Financial assistance will support planned action by the community to diversify the local economy and to improve their social, economic, and environmental well-being. Limitation on length of funded projects will be established at the Regional Office.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Periodic and final reports are required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," non federal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

State and other generally accepted accounting systems are permissible, if acceptable to audit and reconciliate. All grantees need to maintain adequate systems for collecting and recording statistical data.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1105-0-1-302.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $0; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$1,000 to $30,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Forest Service Implementation Guidelines available in all Forest Service offices. OMB Circular Nos. A-102 and A-87, are applicable and USDA Implementing Regulations 7, CFR 3016, 3017, 3018, and 3019.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Refer to Appendix IV of the Catalog for Regional and Area State and Private Forestry offices of the Forest Service and for addresses and telephone numbers of Regional Foresters and Area Director of the Forest Service.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090. Telephone: (202) 205-1657.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Regional Foresters and the Area Director are given the flexibility to make funding decisions based on their own understanding of community and regional priorities and in consultation with others, such as State, tribal and local agencies and organizations.



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