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News Releases
State Forests Advisory Committee seeks members - 02/22/18

Salem, Ore. -- A committee advising Oregon Department of Forestry staff on forest operations, projects and activities is currently seeking applications to fill two vacancies.

Formed in 2001, the State Forests Advisory Committee provides input on the implementation of forest management plans in northwest and southwest Oregon. The committee represents a diverse range of forestry interests and serves as a forum to discuss agency opportunities for achieving forest management goals in these areas.

The committee specifically covers issues related to ODF district Annual Operations Plans, best practices for balancing a range of forest benefits, strategies for improving public outreach and participation, and other technical forest management topics.

The two new members will serve three-year terms beginning in April 2018. There is one vacancy for a position representing the environmental community and a vacancy in a non-affiliated position.

"This is an opportunity for Oregonians to get involved in today's forestry conversation and provide insight and perspectives on how we are implementing the forest management plans. We look forward to hosting a diverse and experienced committee in the coming months," said Andy White, Northwest Oregon Area Director for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

SFAC members attend three meetings per year and a summer field tour, and agendas are usually scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To apply, complete a questionnaire (http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Working/Documents/SFACApplicationQuestionnaire2018.pdf) by March 19 and submit to April Davis at the Oregon Department of Forestry by email to april.r.davis@oregon.gov or mail to 801 Gales Creek Rd., Forest Grove, OR 97116.

For specific questions about the committee, please contact Andy White at 503-359-7496 or andrew.t.white@oregon.gov. Additional SFAC background information can be found here (http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/SFAC.aspx).

Committee for Family Forestlands and State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee meet Feb. 27 - 02/20/18

News Release

Date: Feb. 20, 2018

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311
Kyle Abraham, Deputy Chief Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

The Committee for Family Forestlands and the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will meet Tuesday, Feb. 27; the CFF from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the SFCC via conference call from 2 -- 3:30 p.m. The meetings will be in the Tillamook Room at the Oregon Department of Forestry Salem Headquarters, 2600 State Street.

The Committee for Family Forestlands will discuss these topics:
* Updates on the Private Forests Division, Legislative session, agency strategic initiatives, and landowner assistance
* Land use planning
* Food plot rulemaking
* Good Neighbor Authority

The State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will receive updates about:
* The department and the Private Forests Division
* Federal funding
* Forest Stewardship Program
* Forest Legacy Program, including the 2020 call for applications and timelines.

These are public meetings, everyone is welcome. The meeting agendas include time for public comment at the beginning of each meeting. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meetings. For more information about attending these meetings please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

The CFF is a 13-member committee that researches policies that affect family forests, natural resource and forestry benefits. The committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and State Forester based on its findings. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/CFF.aspx.

The State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee advises the State Forester on policy and procedures for the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry Programs, such as Forest Legacy and Forest Stewardship. The committee consists of representatives from state and federal natural resource agencies, private forest landowners, consulting foresters, and forest industry and conservation organizations. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/SCC.aspx.


Oregon Department of Forestry hosts national conference in central Oregon on aviation's role in fighting wildfires - 02/16/18

News Release

Feb. 16, 2018

Neal Laugle, ODF Aviation Manager, 503-945-7508
Bobbi Doan, ODF Public Affairs Specialist, 503-945-7506

SALEM, Ore. -- Wildfires are increasingly fought in the skies as well as on the ground. Nowhere was that more apparent than at this year's National States Fire and Aviation Conference hosted by the Oregon Department of Forestry in central Oregon Feb. 6-8.

The meeting's purpose was to bring aviation managers from across the nation to discuss important fire and aviation issues impacting aerial firefighting programs. Over the course of three days, dozens of fire managers, contractors, vendors and researchers engaged in learning about the latest advances in aerial firefighting technology. The conference highlighted multiple presentations about unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as drones), including lessons learned from their experimental use in last summer's wildfires, to the evolving regulations governing how they can be flown.

Additional topics included short-wave infrared technology and its ability to see through heavy smoke and provide sharp images and fire mapping in real time for on-the-ground fire managers. Attendees also heard about aircraft maintenance, new research on chemicals to make water more effective at suppressing wildfire, and Colorado's expanding use of its firefighting plane for other hazard-related missions.

Attendees came from as far away as Alaska, Florida and Pennsylvania to the site of the conference at the Sunriver Resort near Bend, not far from where a number of wildfires burned in the Cascades during 2017. Deputy State Forester Nancy Hirsch welcomed the conference attendees to Oregon, emphasizing the importance of cooperative relationships between states during increasingly challenging fire seasons.

ODF's Aviation Manager Neal Laugle said the event underscored the growing recognition of the vital importance of aircraft in the battle against catastrophic wildfire. "From detection to fire mapping and active suppression support, aircraft now play a critical role in the fight to save lives, property and natural resources," Laugle said. "Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the state of Oregon beginning to use aircraft to spot wildfire from the sky, so we were especially proud to host this year's conference. It looks like the next 100 years will see even greater reliance on airborne resources by state and federal agencies to help us carry out our firefighting mission."

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Forestland classification process completed in Yamhill County - 02/06/18

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. -- A formal forestland classification project has been completed in Yamhill County that determined which lands are in need of protection from wildfires. Lands classified as forestland are assessed for the costs of wildland fire protection. This process will net a more equitable distribution of costs associated with wildfire protection services.

Oregon Department of Forestry protects public and private forestland from wildfire across the state and provides this service in Yamhill County within the Forest Protection districts. Through the forestland classification process it was found that there are properties in Yamhill County that are not covered by current Forest Patrol Assessment but should be. Beginning in the fall of 2018, 1,284 tax lots will be added to the Yamhill County Forest Patrol Assessment rolls.

The classification was carried out by a six member Forestland Classification Committee. The committee members were representatives of the State Fire Marshal's Office, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon State Extension Office, and three landowners who were authorized and appointed by Yamhill County commissioners.

The Forestland Classification Committee was tasked with examining all lands within Yamhill County, and classifying those lands as either "forestland" or "not forestland." Classification decisions were based upon several factors, including fire risk potential, vegetation type (fire fuel), community structure, and proximity to other forestland.

The committee began holding regular public meetings in January 2016. The committee sometimes met in the field to verify classification decisions. Once draft classifications were made, Oregon Department of Forestry staff hosted five informational sessions throughout the county to provide the public an opportunity to learn more about the history, process and current status of the project. These sessions also provided a forum for interested members of the public to provide valuable input to the committee, which led to subsequent review of some draft classifications. In November 2017, a public hearing was held to allow landowners to provide written or oral testimony. In January 2018, the committee voted to consider all forestland classification decisions final.

For more information about the project, interested persons may go online to the forestland classification page on the Yamhill County assessor's website: http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/content/forestland-classification-review-committee or the ODF Forest Grove District blog: fgdfire.com. Information may also be obtained by calling the Oregon Department of Forestry at these numbers:
* Forest Grove District Office: 503-357-2191
* Dallas Unit Office: 503-934-8146
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Oregon fire managers receive advanced training for complex incidents ahead of this year's wildfire season - 02/01/18

The Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Oregon Department of Forestry issued the following joint news release today.


News release

Release date: Jan. 31, 2018

Rich Hoover, OSFM Public Information Officer, Salem, 503-934-8217, richard.hoover@state.or.us
Jim Gersbach, ODF Public Information Officer, Salem, 503-945-7425, jim.gersbach@oregon.gov

SALEM, Ore. -- Fire managers in Oregon will be better prepared to manage complex wildfires in the coming fire season thanks to additional training some received recently. The Oregon Department of Forestry, Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal and Coos Forest Protective Association sent a combined group of seven employees to six days of complex incident management training sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters.

The Complex Incident Management Course (CMIC) is a national training program that addresses multi-jurisdictional and all-hazard issues, including wildfire, that confront state emergency responders.

The course trains people in command staff positions to function as qualified state incident management teams. These teams are able to assist their state forestry organizations and state emergency departments to manage the unique challenges of large or highly complex wildfires and other hazardous incidents.

The Oregon Department of Forestry's Eastern Oregon Area Director Travis Medema is on the Steering Committee for CIMC. "ODF has been involved in this training since it started more than 15 years ago. It is the highest level of training an individual can receive in how to be prepared to manage complex incidents, not only wildfires but a wide range of other hazards also," said Medema. "As part of the national system for wildfire protection, ODF works with partners throughout Oregon and around the country to manage wildfires. Advanced training at the national level is an investment Oregon is making to ensure we are as ready as possible to keep people and natural resources safe during wildfires and other hazardous incidents."

"For the first time, ODF and the OSFM sent a combined team to this very important training," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "Their experiences and relationships built during this training is what makes them successful in the field. The feedback our office received from the CIMC training staff was that our Oregon team operated at the highest level. I am proud of what this group accomplished and know that their lessons learned during this week of training will continue to protect natural resources and communities in Oregon."

Participants from OSFM were Incident Commander Ian Yocum, Operations Chief Alex Haven and Plans Section Chief Shane Wooten.

ODF sent four staff to the training -- Deanna Drinkwater from Lakeview, Jamie Knight from La Grande, Steve Wilson from Lyons and Brian Pew from Salem. Brett Weidmiller from the Coos Forest Protective Association in southwest Oregon also attended.

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