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News Release
An aerial view of central Oregon forests.
An aerial view of central Oregon forests.
Forests in Focus: New video showcases people working together to restore forests and build markets (Photo) - 05/15/18

News Release                                                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2018

Contact:

Marcus Kauffman, ODF Biomass Resource Specialist, 541-580-7480, marcus.kauffman@oregon.gov

 

Roseburg, Ore. – Restoring central Oregon’s federal forests is a big important job. Too many small trees crowd the landscape, putting homes and property at risk from intense wildfires. But what to do about it?

For decades, finding common ground on forest management has placed competing interests at loggerheads. But in central Oregon, a diverse group of stakeholders are working together to create science-guided solutions that strive for balance, landscape scale and local economic benefits.

“Decades of disagreement by various factions have left us with a forest that is out of whack from its original state,” said David Stowe, an executive committee member of the Sierra Club - Oregon Chapter’s Juniper Group. 

The six-minute video showcases how stakeholders are working to restore central Oregon’s forests and make them more fire-resilient.

“The forests in central Oregon are adapted to fire,” said Pete Caliguiri, a fire ecologist with The Nature Conservancy. “With 450,000 acres of forest in need of restoration, it is important that we learn how to scale up our efforts. Sound science should continue to guide us.”

Forest restoration is expensive and results in a lot of by-products with varying degrees of commercial value. Finding markets for less valuable by-products from restoration projects, such as small trees and brush, would lower costs and create more local jobs.

“Ideally we’d have markets for the small trees and biomass that result from these treatments,” said Nicole Strong, assistant professor at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to create markets for some of these by-products like firewood, post and poles, pellets and wood chips for heat and power,” said Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester.

“Forest restoration creates a lot of benefits: reduced fire risk to communities, improved economics and utilization of the by-products and improved forest ecology,” Stowe added. “We’ll never get the forest back to where it was before we mucked it up. But we can get it headed in the right direction, and it will be a better forest for everyone.”

The video was produced by the Oregon Department of Forestry with generous funding provided by the USDA Forest Service and is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/R6DwCfUysak.

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