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August 14, 2022
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Oregon Department of Forestry awards $725,000 to support Oregon forest collaborative groups

SALEM, Ore.— Earlier this year the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) awarded a total of $725,000 to eight forest collaboratives across the state to help them increase the pace, scale and quality of forest restoration work to create healthier forests and safer communities.

Through a partnership with Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), ODF’s Federal Forest Restoration (FFR) Program provides funding to forest collaboratives who are building and maintaining trust and broadening the social license to perform thinning, prescribed fire, and other restoration work. The collaboratives are made up of forest industry, environmental, federal, state, and local government, tribal, and other community stakeholders.

“These investments in our forest collaboratives in Oregon are vital to making our landscapes more resilient to climate-driven wildfires and to the health of our rural, forest-dependent communities,” said Oregon State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “Collaborative groups, in addition to our federal, tribal, and state agency partners, are an important part of Oregon’s shared restoration strategy.”

The Collaborative Capacity Grants (CCG) provided $476,829 to eight collaborative groups to develop zones of agreement and improve their collaborative governance structure, resulting in larger and more complex planned forest restoration projects and a greater number of them. Groups that received funding include:

  • Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative
  • Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative
  • Wasco-Hood River Forest Collaborative
  • Wild Rivers Coast Forest Collaborative
  • Harney County Forest Collaborative
  • Northern Blues Forest Collaborative
  • Oregon Central Coast Forest Collaborative
  • Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project

ODF also provides technical assistance to these collaboratives to ensure they have access to the latest scientific analysis and research. These Technical Assistance and Science Support (TASS) grants awarded $250,000 to seven projects including:

  • A carbon storage potential study on the Malheur National Forest
  • Two fire and forest reconstruction studies on the Mt. Hood and Rogue-Siskiyou National Forests
  • The Oregon Forest Collaborative Network, which convenes collaborative leaders across the state for efficient information sharing and higher functioning collaborative groups

“Oregonians care deeply about forests, but they may have different ideas on how best to manage them,” said Kyle Sullivan, who leads ODF’s Federal Forest Restoration Program. “Collaboration is about problem solving—people come together to identify problems and work together on shared solutions. ODF supports this important work by providing financial support to forest collaboratives.” 

Since 2013, the Oregon Legislature has invested in the FFR Program support forest collaborative groups. In the 2019-21 biennium, the program helped collaboratives engage in projects totaling 859,174 acres of restoration, timber sales, non-commercial thinning, and prescribed burning that supported 610 jobs in forest and other sectors.

In addition to these investments in forest collaboration, the FFR Program is implementing the needed restoration work on-the-ground in Oregon’s federal forests. Using the Good Neighbor Authority, the FFR Program has completed over 75,000 acres of commercial and non-commercial restoration work to date in Oregon.

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