Updates & Blog

USDA announces IRA funding opportunity for forest landowner support

USDA Press
man and woman walk through a green forested/natural, each holding one toddler boy on their hip.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is making $150 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history, available to help underserved and small acreage forest landowners connect to emerging voluntary climate markets. These markets can provide economic opportunities for landowners and incentivize improved forest health and management. Secretary Vilsack announced the funding opportunity at the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Conference on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act. This builds on investments in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for forest health treatments, including through the creation of competitive grants to non-Federal forest landowners.

Forests are powerful tools in the fight against climate change, and emerging voluntary private-sector markets are now creating economic incentives to keep forests healthy and productive through reforestation, improved forest management, and other sustainable practices. However, high acreage requirements and prohibitive start-up costs have caused many small-acreage and underserved private forest owners to be left behind. The investments being announced today will expand access to markets that were previously out-of-reach, allowing underserved and small-acreage forest landowners to address climate change while also supporting rural economies, maintaining land ownership for future generations, and protecting private forestlands from increasing development pressure.