Earlier this month, almost half-a-million dollars was up for grabs among eastern Arizona counties occupied by the Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Projects proposed in Gila County totaled $171,284, plus a portion of another $56,175 project. But of that money, Gila County will only see $14,043, according to Larry Stephenson, director of the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization and its Environmental Economic Counties Organization. The one project to receive funding with Gila County impact was funding for administrative costs of the Northern Arizona Wood Products Association.
The association is designed to encourage and organize small, wood product businesses and eventually reduce taxpayer costs to restore forests.