WNC Communities has announced a new awards program offering $50,000 to help support efforts to restore hemlocks to long-term health throughout North Carolina. The awards program is a part of the new Hemlock Restoration Initiative, a cooperative effort launched by North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through a grant to WNC Communities.
The goal of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative is to work with and through current restoration initiatives to ensure that Eastern and Carolina hemlocks can resist the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid and survive to maturity on North Carolina’s public and private lands by 2025.
WNC Communities expects to distribute a total of three awards this year, each ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, to support various restoration initiatives. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and local government agencies. Individual landowners and businesses are not eligible to apply.
“Thanks to Commissioner Troxler and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, we now have an opportunity to encourage some of the best projects and speed up the solutions,” states Linda Lamp, executive director of WNC Communities.
Some of the possible areas of award activity include the search for natural resistance, chemical control, biological control, breeding for resistance, and public outreach and technical assistance. The award activity must occur within a 17-county area in Western North Carolina.
“We will consider any approaches that show real promise of helping to restore hemlocks to long-term health on North Carolina’s public and private lands,” says Lamp.
Proposals are due Friday, July 18. Funding decisions will be made by a special advisory committee and the board of WNC Communities to support activities beginning after Sept. 1. For the complete Request for Proposals and related application forms, please contact George Ivey, project coordinator, (828) 712-6474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– WNC Communities