Texas A&M Forest Service- Cool Season Fire Break Grant
Grant Funded Through USDA – Forest Service
Scope of Project: The goal of this grant program is to reduce the negative impacts of wildland fires to communities on the plains of Texas. Projects will be located in the Panhandle, Northwest, West, and South Texas as defined by Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department and Applied Technology Department as high priority (see map for eligible counties).
The projected outcome is to assist landowners by covering the costs of planting cool season fire breaks adjacent to and in strategic locations around communities at high risk from wind driven wildfires.
The great plains, rolling plains, and south Texas plains are a mostly flat or rolling landscape that is characterized by large wind driven wildfires. In the most extreme cases, these locations experience what is termed a Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak. Fires that occur on these rangelands after previous wet cycles are often only contained when they reach a wide break in fuel like an agriculture field or recent burned scar, or the weather conditions moderate. Establishing wide fuel breaks planted in cool season grasses that are actively growing during the most common time of year for wind driven wildfires, is one strategy to reduce risk to communities.
Grant recipients in this program will be reimbursed for actual costs up to $80 per acre for establishing a cool season fire break on their property. Work may be conducted by a hired contractor of the landowner’s choosing or by the landowner themselves. Previous work conducted before agreement has been signed and a notice to proceed letter has been issued, will not be accepted. Individual landowners may submit more than one application. Only one application can be approved per landowner. If more applications are received than funding that is available, the applications will be reviewed on a competitive ranking system based on wildfire risk reduction criteria.
Maximum Total Reimbursement per recipient: Grant recipients will be reimbursed actual costs not to exceed $80 per acre (see treatment descriptions below). Total limit of reimbursement per grant recipient is $8,000. Reimbursable costs are limited to those expenditures listed below. Reimbursable expenses are only those that are directly related to preparation, plant, and establishment of the fuel break. The purchase of equipment is not reimbursable. Paid in full invoices are required documentation prior to our agency reimbursing actual costs. Use of the TAMFS Cost Reimbursement Reporting Form must be submitted along with invoices.
Application Process: This grant is competitive, and selection will be based on the goal of reducing wildfire risk to homes. Applications for the grant will open August 22, 2023 and application reviews will begin September 22, 2023. Applications need to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received after September 22, 2023 will be reviewed on a case by case basis if unallocated funding is available. The applications will be reviewed by Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Team and approved/declined based on the intent of the grant. Approval or declined notification letters for applicates will be mailed by October 9, 2023.
The landowner is required to complete all questions on the application to be considered. The packet requires a map of the proposed project area displaying property owner’s boundary, location of proposed fuel treatment or fuel break, dimensions of treatment, and landowner name with aerial imagery as map background. A Texas A&M Forest Service employee can assist landowners in creating an adequate map if the landowner has questions. The Map My Property application from Texas A&M Forest Service’s Texas Forest Info website, is an easy method to produce an adequate map.
If an application is received and approved, the landowner will receive an acceptance letter with a W-9 Tax Form and a program Terms of Conditions Form to be signed and returned to Texas A&M Forest Service. Once all documents are received by Texas A&M Forest Service, the landowner will receive a letter with a “Notice to Proceed” with establishing the fire break. Only after the “Notice to Proceed” has been completed may work begin.
A Texas A&M Forest Service staff member will reach out to schedule the pre-inspection. The Texas A&M Forest Service employee will take pre-treatment photos, confirm the dimensions of your project, and answer any remaining questions about the grant process.
After planting the landowner will contact Texas A&M Forest Service to schedule a post-inspection visit which will verify the work has been completed. The post-inspection will calculate acreage and verify dimensions were met in the approved location. After the post-inspection, the landowner must submit their receipts and invoices for reimbursement. Once the post-inspection is conducted and the reimbursement forms have been submitted, Texas A&M Forest Service will process all documentation and mail or direct deposit your reimbursement check.
For more information, visit our webpage:tfsweb.tamu.edu/cppgrant
or email us at email@example.com
*At all times during and after termination of this award, grant recipient shall, to the extent authorized under Texas law, indemnify and hold harmless Texas A&M Forest Service, The Texas A&M University System, its regents, officers, employees and affiliates against any claim, proceeding, demand, liability, or expenses (including legal expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees) which relates to injury to persons or property or against any other claim, proceeding, demand, expenses and liability of any kind arising out of or in connection with grant recipients performance under this grant agreement.*