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North Warner Multi-Ownership Forest Health

More than 15,000 acres were treated for hazardous fuels and to improve wildlife habitat using JCLRP funding.

Legacy ponderosa pine stands and rolling hills of sagebrush are symbolic of the western landscape. However, years of fire suppression has led to fuel accumulation in these dry forests and rangelands.

This poses a catastrophic wildfire threat to these large old trees along with the neighboring sage grouse populations and aspen stands.

Located in south central Oregon, in the North Warner Mountain Range, a collaborative of community leaders and landowners are working across boundaries to address the resource concerns in the project area. Through this Joint Chiefs’ project, they were able to leverage substantial funding from other partners for work on public and private lands.

The collaborative process used to design and implement this project has become a model for landscape-scale cross-boundary projects in the region. Because this particular landscape covers over 400,000 acres, including the Fremont-Winema National Forest, a sophisticated mapping and priortization approach was needed.

This Joint Chiefs’ project has focused on reducing fuel loads in the forest by thinning small trees, commercial harvest, and controlled burns.

A Model for Community Collaboration

The North Warner Multi-Ownership Project (Project) conducted in south central Oregon has become a model to emulate on the road to community collaboration success. The cooperative agreement between NRCS Oregon and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) allowed for technical forestry assistance and implementation of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Collaborative efforts and a common vision among 15 different partners and 30 private landowners allowed for restoration goals to be met across public and private land boundaries.

“Shared goals for long-term solutions brought this partnership together to accomplish just that,” said Louis Linton, private landowner and rancher. “There were so many rewarding accomplishments and opportunities for learning.”

In total, approximately $11.5 million was gained for large-scale landscape restoration goals. Working together across public and private land not only protected the land but also built trust and relationships among partners and landowners. The benefits further extend from those directly involved in the Project to those who live in the community, as the demand for related local contracts and jobs increased. This Project has outlined a roadmap to help plan and implement successful forest health projects in the future.

“This project has many benefits to the rural community of Lakeview, Oregon including jobs associated with thinning contracts and wood production, as well as an increased understanding and stakeholder support for forest thinning and use of prescribed fire as an ecological process,” said Amy Markus, USDA Forest Service Cohesive Strategy Coordinator, Lakeview District.

This award has been a catalyst for change on the landscape, and the funds contributed have helped to accomplish thousands of acres of habitat improvement. This work would not have been possible without the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership.

Key partners: Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Forestry Federal Forest Restoration Program, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Lakeview Stewardship Group, KLFHP, Oregon State University Extension

Download PDF brochure (PDF, 209KB)



Completed

 

  • USFS & NRCS JCLRP funds awarded 2017–2019: $10,040,213
  • Total USDA and partner project funds: $11,314,213