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Winter 2020 Newsletter 

Healthy Forests = Clean Water
Source Water Collaborative Forestry Learning Exchange Launching in 2021 - TIME SENSITIVE
The National Source Water Collaborative will host a Forestry Learning Exchange in 2021 to teach water utilities and other watershed partners how to collaborate with the forestry sector to protect and steward our nation’s drinking water. Information about the Forestry Learning Exchange will be posted on the Source Water Collaborative’s website after the New Year.

The Forestry Learning Exchange will feature four linked webinars from February through May focused on learning from water utilities, forestry agencies, and others who successfully integrate forest stewardship into their watershed programs. Webinar topics will include an overview of federal, state, and local forestry agencies and mandates; the importance of forests for drinking water; how to engage forest-sector partners; and water utility case studies showcasing forestry sector collaboration and ecosystem services funding/financing for forest retention. The Source Water Collaborative will also host a Forestry Learning Exchange website with tools and resources.
January 14th Webinar - Developing Corporate Partnerships for Ecosystem Services - TIME SENSITIVE
The Keeping Forests initiative will be holding a webinar January 14th on Developing Corporate Partnerships for Ecosystem Services. To participate in the webinar, please click below.
Register Here
NFWF Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program - TIME SENSITIVE

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEx, Southern Company and BNSF Railway are gathering water quality and source water protection plan proposals for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program.

The proposal deadline is January 28, 2021 by 11:59 pm (Eastern Time). Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions. Grant program priorities include:

  1. On-the-Ground Restoration
  2. Environmental Outreach, Education & Training
  3. Community Partnerships
  4. Measurable Results
  5. Sustainability

Approximately $1,500,000 is available nationwide for projects meeting the program's priorities. There is one round of full proposals annually for this program. Awards range from $20,000 to $50,000 with an average size of $35,000 and 40-50 grants awarded per year. Grants should span 12 to 18 months with a start date in late summer/early fall 2021. More details can be found here.

US Forest Service Grant Opportunities - TIME SENSITIVE
The US Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program offers funding for communities to acquire and conserve local forests. The program supports projects that protect water and wildlife, provide economic benefits, and offer recreational opportunities. The application deadline for the Community Forest Program is January 11th, 2021.

Mark your calendars to start preparing your Forest Legacy grant proposals! The US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program anticipates twice as much funding than usual for its next grant cycle in spring of 2021. It’s a good idea to work with your state forestry agency’s Forest Legacy staff person well in advance to develop your project idea.

The Forest Legacy Program identifies and conserves forest land being threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. The program supports incentives and opportunities for landowners to retain their forests while conserving and protecting the forest land’s intrinsic ecosystem values. The Great American Outdoors Act, which passed this year, now provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which funds the Forest Legacy Program. As a result, the Forest Legacy Program anticipates having double their usual funding for the next grant cycle. The deadline is likely to be summer of 2021.
Two New Green Bonds Fund Watershed Stewardship
Hays County, Texas voters passed the Hays County Parks Bond with overwhelming support of almost 70% voting in favor. The $75 million bond creates funding to leverage another $225 million from the Texas State Revolving Fund Loan Program to support drinking water source watershed protection, and also provide funds to preserve parks, protect natural open spaces, and provide flood mitigation and stormwater management over the next 10 years.
The largest water utility in Arkansas, Central Arkansas Water (serving the greater Little Rock area) posted a $30.6 million green bond in October to purchase and preserve forests to help protect its drinking water source watershed. The first of its kind in the country, the bond will leverage funding from the US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program, helping to achieve forest land conservation of 45% of the Lake Maumelle watershed, which originates in the Ouachita National Forest.
New Conservation Public Opinions Survey
The Nature Conservancy has published key findings from surveys intended to gauge how American voters feel about conservation. The findings give an in-depth look into public opinion around conservation. The surveys gathered responses from people of all different genders, ages, and political parties, making them a key tool to understanding what aspects of conservation feel the most important to varied groups of people, and to finding where these concerns intersect across differences.

TNC also released a memo called The Language of Conservation based on the findings from their surveys. As outlined in the memo, they found that the three most critical elements to communicating about conservation were: water, wildlife, and way of life (the three W’s). The memo dives deeply into the three W’s and offers insight into what kinds of language and messaging are most effective when communicating about conservation to the public.
Natural Assest Management for Water Utilities
The Water Research Foundation released a publication to help water utilities better account for and manage their natural assets. The publication reviews the valuable services forested watersheds, aquifers, and wetlands provide to water utilities, and offers a framework for utilities to account for and manage these natural assets through greater recognition, quantification, and valuation of the services they provide. Read the executive summary here.
New US Forest Service Guide on How to Build Source Water Protection Partnerships
A new guide released by the US Forest Service details how to build local partnerships focused on source water protection. The main section of the guide consists of five sequential steps to setting up a partnership and ends with the implementation of on the ground actions: 1) Scoping Need and Opportunity, 2) Determining Land Management Activities, 3) Deciding Whether to Move Forward, 4) Establishing the Partnership, and 5) Implementing the Partnership. The guide also includes a list of funding resources and opportunities, and six case studies of watershed investment partnerships. This guide is a powerful tool for any group or person looking to develop a source water protection partnership!
Society of American Foresters Acknowledges Watershed Services of Forests
The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has released a position statement to acknowledge the importance of watershed services provided by forests in the United States. SAF recognizes the forest-water relationship as a critical component to continued water quality, and expresses that Society of American Foresters supports policies, programs and actions that contribute to the health, management and restoration of forested watersheds. SAF also acknowledges increasing threats to forested watersheds such as population growth, pollution, and conversion of forests to other land uses, and highlights the importance of forestry Best Management Practices (BMP’s), impacts of forest conversion, and how preserving water quality is key to overall watershed health. SAF recognizes that professional foresters are uniquely qualified to help reach water resource goals and can play an important role in keeping forested watersheds healthy and well managed.
SAF Position Statement
Copyright © 2020 Southeastern Partnership for Forests and Water, All rights reserved.

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SE Partnership for Forests & Water · 2327 Schirm Loop Rd · NW Olympia, WA 98502-9687 USA · USA

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