Recovery Act to benefit Minnesota
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 15:47
The United States Forest Service in partnership with the USDA has announced that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be provided to allow for the purchase of chippers and grinders for a biomass facility in Saint Louis County.
The Bois Forte Development Corporation, which serves as the managing body for the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwa, will receive an estimated sum of $250,000 slated for Wildland Fire Management. The Band, a group of Minnesotan Chippewa, owns and operates the Fortune Bay Resort and Casino which employs over 500 people and injects more than $30 million annually into the economy of northern Minnesota.
Several Minnesota counties to include Cook, Lake and Saint Louis will also receive funding from the ARRA for hazardous fuels reduction. Minnesota will share a total of $6.192 million with similar projects in Michigan and West Virginia. Contracts and agreements in partnership with the National Resource Conservation Service will employ temporary crews for up to two years. The projects will create or sustain jobs in the economically hard-hit and high fire-risk areas in Minnesota and elsewhere in the midwest and northeast while also serving to increase public safety, maintain and restore forests for public use, sustain forest product industry jobs and support biomass markets.
A total of 30 projects funded at $57 million for wood-to-energy grants and $8 million for biomass utilization are located in 14 states.