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Adaptive Management Program Committee meets June 24 - 06/18/24

SALEM, Ore. — The Adaptive Management Program Committee will meet at noon on Monday, June 24 in the Clatsop Room, Building C, at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, located at 2600 State St. in Salem. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Finalize Eastern Oregon Steep Slopes question package (Substantial decision item)
  • Affirm roads research questions honed by the IRST (Substantial decision item)
  • Introduce process for determining new priorities (Substantial decision item)

The meeting is open to the public to attend in person and online via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the start of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by emailing adaptivemanagementprogram@odf.oregon.gov.

The 13-member committee The Adaptive Management Program Committee helps determine if forest practices are meeting their goals to protect natural resources through a science-based and transparent process. The committee sets the research agenda that the Independent Research and Science Team (IRST) implements. View more information on the AMPC webpage.

The Oregon Department of Forestry is reopening one of the true gems of the state forests' recreations areas, Butte Creek Falls, on June 21.  Pictured is the upper falls, there is also a lower falls
The Oregon Department of Forestry is reopening one of the true gems of the state forests' recreations areas, Butte Creek Falls, on June 21. Pictured is the upper falls, there is also a lower falls
Butte Creek Falls state forests recreation area to reopen after the 2020 wildfires (Photo) - 06/17/24

SANTIAM STATE FOREST, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is reopening one of the true gems of the state forests’ recreations areas, Butte Creek Falls, on June 21.

The drive into the recreation area goes though ridges and valleys of burned and blacken trees from the 2020 fires.  The deadly Beachie Creek fires killed several people, destroyed homes and scorched more than 400,000 acres.  However, near the recreation area the trees turn green and the area around the upper and lower waterfalls are lush and untouched by fire.

“We were really fortunate the fires skipped over this area,” said Joe Offer, ODF’s Recreation Program Manager.  “The trailhead and the paths to the two sets of falls are open, so is the camping area and the 100-yard shooting range.”

ODF recreation staff and work crews from the South Fork Forest Camp (A jointly run facility by ODF and the Department of Corrections) and the DOC’s Santiam Correctional Institute have been working hard to get the area open after being closed for nearly four years.

“There was a lot of vegetation and debris on the trails,” said Offer.  “But thanks in large part to the adults in custody crews they are cleared and just last week they repaired one of the foot bridges.  The crew had to transport the lumber, tools, and a generator down the trails to get the job done.”

Another major improvement was made after the 2020 fires but is just now opening.

“The 100-yard shooting range was a joint project with Trash No-Land,” said Offer.  The non-profit dedicated to responsible target shoot works to improve safety and reduce fire risks at dispersed ranges across the state.  Funding for the improvements came from the NRA’s Public Range Fund. The range is located on Butte Creek 615 Road just off the Butte Creek Mainline Road. A new gravel backdrop, concrete barriers at approximately 100-yards, parking and new informational signs were all part of the improvements at the former gravel pit.

Most people head straight to the trailhead that has parking for five or six vehicles while there are three campsites for tents at the campground. There is also additional parking at the campground with a connector trail to the main trail that goes to the falls.

“Our future plan is to expand both parking areas, the campground and offer additional camping opportunities within this northern block of the Santiam,” said Offer.  “But right now we just wanted to get everything open then start working on new improvements.”

The area was closed mainly for safety reasons while ODF did post-fire timber harvesting and removed roadside hazardous burned and dead trees. 

“This operation was the largest and most challenging of all ODF’s post-fire restoration timber sales as it was within one of the highest severity portions of the fires’ footprint,” said Kyle Kaupp, Santiam Unit Forester. “It included more than 20 miles of roadside hazard tree mitigation across multiple road systems, all which were accessible by the same travel route to this recreation area.”

 The work in the area was difficult, but careful consideration of high elevation weather, extensive safety measures, technical harvesting systems, and contractor availability were among the long list of factors that allowed the operation to be successful. 

“ODF has also begun to replant trees for the future of the forested areas, said Kaupp.  “So far, nearly 200,000 seedlings have been planted in this specific area alone.”

And the ODF’s work in the area continues so there are still some restrictions.

“There are salvage harvest operations on-going, so one place that remains closed is the High Lakes Recreation Area,” said Offer.  “We are asking folks to not go into that area until all operations are complete and we determine the best way to manage recreation in such a heavily burned landscape.”   

For updates, more information and maps to the area see the Santiam State Forests recreation site status webpage.  For information on all Oregon State Forests recreation sites visit the ODF Recreation website.  For more information on Trash No Land visit their webpage.

Attached Media Files: The Oregon Department of Forestry is reopening one of the true gems of the state forests' recreations areas, Butte Creek Falls, on June 21. Pictured is the upper falls, there is also a lower falls , The Oregon Department of Forestry is reopening one of the true gems of the state forests' recreations areas, Butte Creek Falls, on June 21. , Adults in custody work crews repair a footbridge on the trail to the lower falls. At Butte Creek. Work was performed by ODF Recreation staff, and ODF South Fork Forest Camp work crews operated out of Salem and the Santiam Corrections Institution. South Fork Forest Camp is a jointly run facility by ODF and the Department of Corrections. , Hikers can hear the falls almost immediately as they take the scenic trail down to Butte Creek Falls. There are upper and lower falls, be sure to visit both. , Although not highlighted as often as the upper falls, the lower falls are also worth the short additional hike down to see them. They are on the same main trail. , There are three campsites for tents at the campground. There is also additional parking at the campground with a connector trail to the main trail that goes to the falls. , Adults in custody work crews repair a footbridge on the trail to the lower falls. At Butte Creek. Work was performed by ODF Recreation staff, and ODF South Fork Forest Camp work crews operated out of Salem and the Santiam Corrections Institution. South Fork Forest Camp is a jointly run facility by ODF and the Department of Corrections.
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2024 Mid-Willamette Valley Interagency Wildland Fire School begins June 24 in Sweet Home, Oregon (Photo) - 06/17/24

(Sweet Home, OR) Approximately 170 wildland firefighters and instructors will convene in Sweet Home during the last week of June to take part in the annual five day Mid-Willamette Valley Interagency Wildland Fire School. Officials from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), and US Fish and Wildlife Service host the yearly training to prepare new firefighters for the rigors of fighting fire, both in Oregon's forests and in rural-urban interface areas.

Co-Incident Commanders Chris Mushrush, Fire Planner for Northwest Oregon Interagency Fire Management, and Craig Pettinger, District Forester for ODF South Cascade District, are leading the effort to train firefighters in tactical skills and safety.

“Fire School provides crucial education and training in wildland fire to new firefighters and gives veteran firefighters a chance to refresh their skills and explore leadership opportunities. It’s also an important opportunity to strengthen interagency ties and collaboration." said Mushrush. 

Trainees will learn about fire behavior, suppression tactics, weather, map and compass use, teamwork, leadership, safety, use of engines, tools and hose lays, and fire investigation. In order to get a taste of life in a real fire camp students will sleep in tents at Sweet Home High School and eat their meals in a group.

The training culminates with a live fire exercise on Friday, June 28 just outside of Sweet Home. This presents trainees with a final challenge: applying their newly acquired skills and techniques to suppress and mop-up a real fire.

“Cascade Timber Consulting, a local forest landowner, provides a new field site each year and we are very grateful,” added Pettinger. “The live fire exercise provides an invaluable training experience – working in smoke, hiking through uneven terrain, and working closely with crew members to dig fireline - these are all things they’ll experience this season as wildland firefighters.”

Safety principles of fire training include wearing protective gear, safe use of tools and looking out for hazards. “Safety is paramount in every aspect of wildland firefighting, and it begins with our training exercises,” continued Pettinger. “Working together in a collaborative training setting improves communications and builds effective relationships for all agencies to draw on during fire season."

This year, the field site that will be used for the live fire exercise is located north of Foster Lake approximately 2 miles northeast of Sweet Home. Fire officials urge the public to use caution as there will be increased fire traffic in the area and the potential for visible smoke on Friday, June 28. 

Note to Media: 
This opportunity offers access to both trainee and experienced firefighters as they prepare for the 2024 fire season. Media is required to provide advance notice of your intent to participate, as all media must be accompanied by an agency escort and have personal protective equipment. Please RSVP to Jessica Neujahr by June 26.
 
Personal protective equipment includes Nomex pants, long sleeve Nomex shirt, gloves, hard hat, eye protection, and boots with Vibram soles. Protective equipment (excluding leather boots) may be available for media to borrow by contacting Jessica Neujahr with ODF.

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State holding open house meetings on wildfire hazard map and community defense programs - 06/13/24

SALEM, Ore. — After two completed sessions in central and northeast Oregon, the state is reminding communities of four remaining open houses about the state’s new community wildfire risk reduction programs. Next week’s scheduled events are in Central Point and Grants Pass. These events will offer opportunities to learn about new defensible space and home hardening standards, as well as the draft wildfire hazard map. 

The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the greatest levels of wildfire hazard within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs. 

Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand Oregon’s statewide wildfire programs.

  • Oregon Department of Forestry representatives will address questions on administrative rules and hazard zone assessment appeals.
  • Oregon State University representatives will address questions on wildfire hazard science, statewide data sources, and updates to the draft hazard map made over the last two years.
  • Oregon State Fire Marshal representatives will address questions regarding defensible space standards, code adoption process and implementation.
  • Building Codes Division representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home hardening construction standards, related code provisions, and implementation.
  • Division of Financial Regulation representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home insurance market and requirements of insurers under Senate Bill 82 (2023).
  • Wildfire Programs Advisory Council members will address questions on statewide policy direction for wildfire programs and council business.

Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Central Point—Monday, June 17, Jackson County Fairgrounds, Mace Building, 1 Peninger Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
  • Grants Pass—Thursday, June 20, Grants Pass High School, 830 NE 9th St., Grants Pass, OR 97526
  • Klamath Falls—Monday, June 24, Klamath County Event Center, Hall #2, 3531 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603
  • The Dalles—Monday, July 1, Oregon Military Department Armory, 402 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058

Find more information on ODF’s wildfire hazard webpage.

To subscribe to information related to updates on the statewide wildfire hazard map, visit the ODF website.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that included wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022 in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded August 4, 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts. 

The 2023 Legislature passed Senate Bill 80 that made several changes to the map including changing the name from a “risk” map to a “hazard” map, reducing the number of hazard classes from five to three, and changing the appeal and notification requirements. 

Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 and Senate Bill 80 may be submitted by email at any time to odf.wildfirehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov.

Central Oregon District fire season begins June 10, 2024 - 06/07/24

Prineville, Ore. – Fire season on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will begin June 10, 2024, at 12:01 a.m. Starting this Monday, the district’s fire danger level will be “Moderate”, and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one) in MH-4 and MH-1 (Hood River and Wasco County). 

Earlier this year, fire managers were optimistic regarding this year’s fire season due to the higher-than-normal snowpack. However, due to the decline in spring rain, rise in temperatures, and windy conditions, the fine fuels in the district have begun to dry significantly. 

So far this year, the district has experienced 16 fires, of which half were escaped debris burns. Debris burning is the number one cause of human-caused fires. Most Central Oregon counties have also enacted debris burn bans. Be sure to check fire restrictions in your local area.  ODF recommends covering your pile until the rainy fall season, when it’s safer to burn. 

With that in mind, the Central Oregon District will begin implementing restrictions based on fire danger level. Moderate fire danger level restricts the following activities: 

• No debris burning, including piles and burn barrels, unless permitted by the local forester.

• No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land. 

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited. 

• No smoking while traveling through or working in any operation area.

In addition to the fire prevention requirements Under IFPL I (one), the following will go into effect:

• A fire watch is required for a minimum of one hour during breaks and at the end of the operational period.

Additional fire restrictions or regulations may apply depending on the various fire risks throughout the fire season.

The Oregon Department of Forestry urges residents to not become complacent in wildfire prevention. The less human-caused fires we have, the less the district’s resources are strained. For tips on wildfire prevention, visit www.keeporegongreen.org  

For more information on the Central Oregon District and fire season regulations, visit https://odfcentraloregon.com/. Check your local restrictions at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx

Oregon Department of Forestry announces historic boost in funding to support equity in urban and community forestry - 06/03/24

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) seeks to fund projects that improve urban and community forests in areas of Oregon that need it the most. ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program received $26.6 million from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through the United States Forest Service (USFS). Out of this, $10 million will be awarded to the nine Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon, and $12.5 million will be available for all eligible entities in Oregon. This opportunity promotes equal access to the benefits of trees and aims to get more people involved in tree planting and comprehensive urban forest management.

“This is going to be a game changer for Oregon,” said Scott Altenhoff, ODF’s UCF Program Manager. “This is the largest and most significant urban and community forestry investment in Oregon’s history.”

ODF's UCF Program officially issued the call for proposals for all eligible entities on May 31. The application portal and resources related to this funding opportunity can be found on the UCF subaward program webpage.

Proposals can be submitted starting, July 1, through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Project funding will range from $10,000 to $750,000 and can be spent over the next four years. The ODF UCF Program can provide support to organizations with project development, grant writing, and performance reporting. 

Altenhoff said that he hopes these subaward programs will support groups who have been historically less likely to apply for grants. “We are excited to empower communities who typically lack access to federal resources. We want to meet communities and organizations where they are at and provide support for their good ideas and projects.”

Hilary Olivos-Rood, ODF UCF Grant Program Administrator, suggests contacting the ODF UCF Program staff if you are unsure whether your program or project proposal meets the eligibility requirements, would like support with proposal development, or need help navigating SAM.gov registration. "The UCF Program will support communities that receive awards in many ways, and UCF program staff are ready to provide assistance and guidance from start to finish."

Olivos-Rood encourages all interested entities, grant networks, and community-centric organizations to share this unique funding opportunity. Engaged communication and outreach will be essential for this new program’s success.

Board of Forestry to meet on June 5 and 6 in Troutdale - 05/24/24

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet for a field tour on Wednesday, June 5, and a public meeting on Thursday, June 6, in Troutdale, Oregon. The field tour will be open to the public for in-person participation and recordings of the tour’s highlights will be posted on the board’s meeting page after. The meeting will be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The board’s business agenda for June 6 includes:

  • Forest protection association budgets 
  • Vision for Oregon’s Forests
  • Advancing wildfire prevention
  • Wildfire hazard map and procedural rules
  • Jefferson County forest patrol assessment appeals
  • Western Oregon State Forests Forest Management Plan draft
  • Oregon State University’s College of Forestry report

On Wednesday, the tour starts at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield located at 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060, in the west parking lot. Members of the public wishing to join the tour are asked to RSVP by emailing boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov by end of day, Friday, May 31. Those attending the tour should bring their own lunch and PPE gear, including hardhat, reflective vest, and appropriate footwear. The field tour will highlight the 20-Year Resiliency Strategy, the Federal Forests Restoration Program and provide an opportunity to view an active timber sale.

On Thursday, the meeting will be held at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield, Blackberry Hall, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060.

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony, both in person and virtual, is available on the second day. Sign-up for live testimony is required as spots are limited. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day by mail to the Board Support Office, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310 or email to boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item and topic included with the submission. Tips for providing testimony to the board are available online.

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.

Committee for Emergency Fire Cost meets June 4 - 05/24/24

SALEM, Ore. — The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet in the Tillamook Room, Building C, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street in Salem on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 10 a.m. A virtual option will be available via Zoom video conference, which can be found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
  • Weather update
  • Update on status of large fire cost collection efforts
  • Guidelines for eligibility of firefighting costs
  • Administrative Branch/Fire Protection Division/Administrator reports

The meeting is open to the public to attend in-person or virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee (EFCC) oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as a fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts and forest protective associations. All districts/associations contribute to the fund so that money will be available to any individual district/association to pay fire suppression costs on eligible emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.

Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps.  In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
Oregon State Forests campgrounds can offer great outdoor experiences without the crowds (Photo) - 05/23/24

GATES, Oregon—If you want to get out in the woods this Memorial Day weekend, try one of Oregon’s state forests.  There are several campgrounds that often have openings or if you are just looking to go for a hike there is free parking at trailheads. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) manages all recreation facilities in state forests.  In northwest Oregon this includes the Clatsop, Santiam and Tillamook State Forests.

 There are three types of camping offered: developed campgrounds, designated campsites outside of regular campgrounds, and dispersed camping.

State forest campgrounds offer a true forest experience without the crowds since most have less than 20 campsites at each location.

“Developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and often have other amenities like hand pump wells,” said John Mandich, a recreation specialist at ODF’s Northwest Oregon Area office.  “Also, most of our campgrounds are first come, first served.  So, if you are a last-minute type of camper, you should try one of our campgrounds.”

Some campgrounds get used less than others.  One of those is the Santiam Horse Camp in the Santiam State Forest near Gates, Oregon.

“This is up the mountain side at 1,200-1,400 foot elevations, so it has great views of the Santiam Canyon,” said Mandich.  “There is a 10-mile loop trail that is muti-use for horses, hikers and mountain bikers.  There are nine sites with corrals, parking for large vehicles to accommodate horse trailers—these can be reserved, but you must have a horse. So far only three of those sites are reserved for Memorial Day weekend.”

There is a day-use area with a pavilion, picnic tables, parking, restrooms and running water at a hand-pump well.

“There are only two designated camping spots for those without horses,” said Mandich.  “We hope to expand that in the near future. However, Rock Creek Campground is close by too and they have five spots.”

Whether visiting for the day or camping there are many recreational opportunities nearby.

“The recently reopened Shellburg Falls recreation area is within a 30-minute drive of the horse camp,” said Mandich.  “Popular Detroit Lake is also about the same distance too.”

Another unique aspect of the area around the Santiam Horse Camp  (See the guide)  is you can see all the phases of forest management on the trail.

“There are recent clearcuts from salvage logging after the 2020 fires,” said Mandich.  “These have recently been replanted.  Then you can walk a ways and see 10-15 year old trees and finally you can see old stands with trees that have three-to-four foot diameters.  It’s a unique experience in a compact area.” 

There are also designated campsites outside of developed campgrounds.  These are numbered and offer a fire ring for campfires. The last type is dispersed camping with no amenities offered. 

 “There are rules for dispersed camping the most important being—pack out what you take in, practice good campfire safety (keep fires small, attended, and make sure they are out), and practice good sanitation (bury your poop). And, camping this way it’s free for up to 14 days.”

Fees at state forest campgrounds range from $5 – $20 per night depending on the type of site. For Memorial Day and July 4 active-duty military get to stay for free with a valid military ID card. Also, the state forest campgrounds honor the Oregon state parks disabled veterans access pass

Although openings can be found on weekends, weekdays have the best availability.  “If you shift your camping trip to a weekday you have a very good chance of getting a spot at most of our campgrounds,” said Mandich.

If you want an outdoor experience further west than the Santiam, try the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests.  If you are going through the Tillamook State Forest, be sure to stop in at the Tillamook Forest Center to see displays about the history, sustainable forest management and wildlife in Oregon’s state forests.  They also have hiking areas including a 250-foot suspension bridge behind the center that crosses the Wilson River and nearby is the Jones Creek Campground.

These are typically under used campgrounds in the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests:

Clatsop State Forest

  • Northrup Creek Horse Campground (Equestrian)

Tillamook State Forest

  • Morrison Eddy Campground
  • Jordan Creek Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Campground
  • Reehers Camp Campground (Equestrian)
  • Keenig Creek Campground
  • Stagecoach Horse Campground (Equestrian)

To see a complete list of state forests camping opportunities, visit the  ODF recreation webpage. The page lists the name, location, amenities, number of camp sites, fees and more information. 

ODF Grants $14 Million to Help Protect Water and Reduce Wildfire Risk - 05/23/24

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and its local, state, and federal partners have started implementing the 20-year Landscape Resiliency Strategy. The strategy prioritizes areas at high-risk for wildfires. This year through mid-2025, the three programs paid for by the state’s General Fund will invest about $14 million into local, state, federal, and private partners’ projects. The investment will expedite work on over 100,000 acres. The partners will implement these landscape resiliency strategy projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

As 2024 continues, ODF builds on prior investments. This means leading partner work to reduce wildfire risk, which includes creating wildfire buffers around communities in the wildland-urban interface or WUI. To do some of this work ODF has 13 programs that leverage 27 funding sources. The three state-funded programs are the Landscape Resiliency Program, Small Forestland Grant Program, and Federal Forest Restoration (FFR) Program.

“The state’s leaders have seen how strategic forestry investments can leverage state funds to reduce wildfire risk, bolster the economy, and protect water sources,” said State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “Thoughtful planning makes this happen; that’s what ODF does. Today we’re highlighting some strategic investment vehicles — the Landscape Resiliency, Small Forestland Grant, and Federal Forest Restoration Programs.” 

The Landscape Resiliency Program funds large projects across property ownerships to prioritize work that provides value to nearby communities. The 2023–25 $10 million investment will help improve wildlands and reduce wildfire risk on about 29,000 acres.

  • Northern Blues Central Grande Ronde River Fuels Project in Union County (925 acres). Remove brush and dead trees to connect with private and public lands that have already been similarly managed to reduce wildfire risk to communities.
  • Oakridge-Westfir Landscape Resiliency Project in Lane County (300 acres). Will reduce brush and wood debris and invasive pests; thin; and may use goats to manage brush.  
  • Reduce Wildfire Risk in SE Oregon in Harney and Malheur Counties (22,745 acres). Reduce invasive grasses and western juniper, primary carriers of fire in sagebrush steppe.
  • Klamath Tribes Fuel Reduction & Fire Resiliency on Klamath Tribal Land (3,500 acres). Eliminate brush, small trees, and dead wood using prescribed fire; thin and clear the wood debris. It will reduce wildfire risk for federal, tribal, private lands, and communities.
  • River in Southwest Oregon (950 acres). Will reduce fuel on private lands and Medford Water Commission Lands using crews, contracts, and prescribed burns by the Rogue Valley Prescribe Burn Association to show benefits of using non-wildfire to manage forests.

The 2023–25 Small Forestland Grant Program has awarded $2.5 million to forestland owners for 14 projects on about 1,300 acres. This program helps improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk around communities. The awards invest in the following counties through various local partners.

  • Benton including a project led by Grand Oaks Summit Owners Association.
  • Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson led by Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council with the Heart of Oregon Corps. The Heart of Oregon Corps project will include parts of Jefferson and Crook Counties.
  • Grant, Lane, and Umatilla coordinated by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s District and Unit Foresters for multiple groups of landowners.
  • Hood River under Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District’s leadership.
  • Jackson and Josephine through the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, Department of Forestry, Sun Ridge Estates Homeowners Association, and the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative.
  • Morrow through a project led by the Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District.

Every two years the Oregon Legislature decides whether to fund the Landscape Resiliency and Small Forestland Grant Programs. If the programs receive funding for the 2025–27 cycle, project leaders can apply in mid-2025. 

The FFR Program improves forest federal forest health and resilience. As part of the 20-year Strategy, the program helps the state work across property lines to reduce wildfire risk, improve forest and watershed health, and sustain jobs in rural, forest dependent communities. To reach these goals the program invests in two key areas, forest collaboratives and environmental reviews.

Forest collaboratives bring together diverse stakeholders to build trust to responsibly thin forests and use prescribed fire. FFR uses two grant programs to do this – Forest Collaborative Grants (FCG) and Technical Assistance and Science Support (TASS) grants. FCGs help increase the number, acreage, and complexity of collaborative projects. TASS grants give collaboratives access to current science. 

  • FCG investments in 2023-25 provided $410,000 to nine forest collaboratives that include the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project, Hood River Forest Collaborative, Northern Blues Forest Collaborative, Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative, Wasco County Forest Collaborative, and Wild Rivers Coast Forest Collaborative
  • TASS grants in 2023-25 provided $400,000 to eleven technical assistance providers supporting ten forest collaboratives on the Willamette, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Mt. Hood, Deschutes, Ochoco, Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla, and Siuslaw National Forests.

Environmental review investments help federal agencies create shovel-ready projects at the pace and scale necessary to respond to the need. The Planning Assistance and Categorical Exclusion (PACE) grants speed up planning through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. PACE investments in 2023-25 total $2 million ($600,000 state; $1.4 million federal) and will expedite planning for about 70,000 acres across the Rogue River-Siskiyou, Fremont-Winema, Deschutes, Mt. Hood, Wallowa-Whitman, Umpqua, and Umatilla National Forests.

ODF leads the 20-Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy to identify environmental and wildfire risks. Then the partners focus investments on priority areas. 

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