Four Forest Restoration Initiative
The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is an ambitious collaborative effort designed to restore natural forest structure and function to the ponderosa pine forests of Northern Arizona. The initiative area stretches from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon across the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains in the east. It covers 2.4 million acres in the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab and Tonto National Forests. Currently, these forests are overgrown with thickets of unhealthy trees that put the region at potential risk of an unnaturally severe wildfire.
Arizona Commerce Authority, Salt River Project, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Arizona State Department of Forestry and Fire are working in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service to help launch the Four Forest Restoration Initiative’s second Request for Proposals (RFP), with the goal of bringing one or more large-scale, long-term mechanical thinning contracts to northern Arizona.
- Accelerate the pace and scale of restoration over the span of 20 years using mechanical harvesting and fire treatments to thin overgrown forests
- Return natural fire regimes to the fire-dependent ecosystem
- Reduce wildfire threats and impacts to communities, watersheds and recreation areas
- As more forest is restored, allow wildfires to be part of a suite of forest management efforts
- Improve streams, springs and wildlife habitat
- Engage private industry to conduct treatments and provide jobs to rural communities
- Catalyze new industry so the cost of restoration is covered by the value of the products removed
- Monitor treatments to ensure we meet our shared vision of a healthy forest for future generations