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Friday, April 1, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry partners with US Forest Service through the Federal Forest Health Program


News Release
April 1, 2016
Contacts:      Jamie Knight, 541-786-2039
                       Christie Shaw, 541-263-0661

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Northeast Oregon and Central Oregon Districts have partnered with the United States Forest Service to provide marking crews on federal timber sales. This partnership is funded by the Federal Forest Health Program initiated by Oregon’s Legislature during the 2013-15 biennium, and included again in the 2015-2017 biennium, intended to increase the pace, scale and quality of restoration on federal forests. 
Seasonal employees from Northeast Oregon (NEO) and Central Oregon Districts (COD) have been working with USFS timber marking crews following the historic 2015 fire season. This partnership has provided additional work through the winter for seasonal firefighters, along with the chance to learn new skills. The department looks for opportunities with cooperating agencies to extend employment for the seasonal workforce. By providing longer term employment opportunities, employees with valuable firefighting experience are more likely to continue working for ODF.

Partnerships with local National Forests in central Oregon have provided work for ten firefighters working on six sale areas including Bull, Fawn Springs, and Vance Creek, to increase the pace of implementation on a ten year stewardship contract in the Malheur National Forest supported by the Blue Mountain Forest Partners collaborative group. Other recent work has focused on roadside salvage projects within the Canyon Creek Complex near John Day. Firefighters who spent August trying to beat the blaze used snow shoes to access these same areas, marking trees for harvest later this spring. Crews are also working with the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests in the Mel Stewardship area, and the Lobo and Lake timber sales. 
In northeast Oregon, crews are working with both the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests to provide personnel. Roadside salvage timber sales that occurred in conjunction with the Cornet-Windy Ridge fires, near Baker City were marked in the fall. Crews have also been working on the Henry and Whiskey timber sales on the Umatilla National Forest, both of which are part of the Kahler Project that was vetted by the Umatilla Forest Collaborative Group.

Working side by side with USFS employees, ODF crew members are marking timber sale boundaries and selecting trees for harvest. The work is guided by analysis conducted through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The added capacity provided through the Federal Forest Health Program allows harvest and forest management activities to occur at an increased pace and scale. This restoration work is intended to improve forest resiliency to wildfire, insects, and disease and provide economic benefits to local economies. 

For more information on the Central Oregon District and projects there visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com  or contact Christie Shaw, Jamie Knight can provide information on the projects and partnerships in northeast Oregon. 

3 comments:

  1. Can this project work be extended onto neighboring family woodland owners who are willing?

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