NEW YORK STATE (WBNG) -- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $450,000 worth of grants are available to help regenerate the state's forests.
The grant program is intended to help private landowners start the next generation of forests in New York.
According to DEC Commissioner Basil Segios, about 75% of forests in New York are on private property. This is why money will be focused on them.
Any private landowners who own between 10 and 1,000 acres of forest land are able to apply for a grant. Each grant awarded will be worth $3,000 to $50,000.
In recent years, young forests in New York have been faced with many challenges that did not exist fifty years ago, explains Jason Drobnack, a Forester at the DEC.
The most significant change has been the widespread damage caused by an increased population of white-tail deer along with new invasive vegetation.
Drobnack continues to explain maintaining healthy forests is critical to our region. It helps protect air and water quality, combats climate change, and can even boost the economy.