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Federal forest funds go to NM, Arizona

Forests in New Mexico and Arizona will benefit from nearly $7 million in recently awarded federal funds.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Southwestern Region is distributing more than $3.4 million to the New Mexico State Forestry Division and more than $3.5 million to Arizona’s Forestry Division.

The money can be used for a variety of projects aimed at sustaining urban and rural forests and protecting communities from wildfires, insects, diseases and invasive plants.

Regional Forester Corbin Newman says many of the funds for the Southwestern Region are targeted to fire suppression training and updated firefighting equipment.

He says the funding is critical, especially when so many states are having budget problems.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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