The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the City of
The agreement, which includes an additional $640,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from the City and non-governmental partners, is the second such collaborative restoration project for the
“We’re thrilled to get started on this project with our partners,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy. “The project will create jobs, help restore the watershed, and reduce fire risk for the citizens of
Ashland Fire Chief John Karns applauded the agreement and effort to reduce the risk of large- scale fire to the community, saying “protecting the watershed, our clean water supply, and nearby residences through this restoration work is a huge step forward.”
Work to implement the collaborative, community-based project plan likely will commence this spring, and continue after summer fire season. Crews will start work close to town in the “urban interface” zone where wildfires are most threatening to homes. Work is planned to continue over a 10-year timeframe, working up into the watershed and ultimately treating 7,600 acres.
The City of
Marty Main of Small Woodland Services, Inc., who works with the City as a forestry consultant, said “The City demonstrated that on-the-ground forest restoration can be accomplished through a community based process, and we plan to continue that approach during Ashland Forest Resiliency.”
Lomakatsi Restoration Project, a local non-profit dedicated to rehabilitation of watersheds in southwestern
“We anticipate putting 50 people to work in living wage jobs on the project applying our ecologically sensitive approach to forest restoration,” said Marko Bey, co-director and co-founder of Lomakatsi, “We are excited to be a partner in this project that will benefit this critically important community resource.”
The Nature Conservancy will coordinate multi-party monitoring and technical review for the project. The non-profit group has been involved in the collaborative work to design the project since 2004. Darren Borgias, local program manager and ecologist with the Conservancy helped secure a $43,000 grant from the National Forest Foundation to develop a collaborative monitoring strategy and community engagement plan for the project.
“Our science and stakeholders call for thinning smaller trees to save the large, legacy pine and fir, and we’ll be out there with stakeholders to help hold our partnership accountable to make sure that’s what happens,” Borgias said, adding “someday soon, controlled burns and even natural fires will do the work, much as it once did, to maintain a healthy forest, wildlife habitat, and clean water.”
Information on this and other U.S. Forest Service projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act can be found at: http://fs.usda.gov/recovery. For additional information on the partnership to restore and protect