- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Federal officials say more than $668,000 has been awarded for forest restoration in western Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service say the funding is part of $40 million nationwide that’s intended to reduce wildfire threats, protect water supplies, improve wildlife habitat and support rural economies.

The funding is part of the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership. Officials say the funding announced Friday includes $7 million for new projects and $33 million for existing projects.

Arkansas will receive $668,750 for its woodland restoration for the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests. The project will extend into eastern Oklahoma.

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