Across the nation and in the Pacific Northwest, there is broad public support for actively managing forests to be more resilient to the uncertainties of climate change and the effects of insect outbreaks, disease, and destructive wildfires that follow decades of fire suppression in fire-dependent forests.
However, the current rate of restoration is not keeping pace with forest growth.
Unless we do some things differently, acres in need of restoration will continue to out-pace restoration accomplishments. Therefore, to restore ecological resiliency to significant areas of eastside national forests and ensure socio-economic viability of eastside communities, the Pacific Northwest Region will accelerate the pace and scale of restoration.
Accelerated restoration will begin in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington where existing collaborative groups are actively engaged with the Forest Service in landscape-scale restoration projects.
Here's a video of Regional Forester Kent Connaughton speaking about Eastside Restoration efforts.
More than 2.6 million acres of national forest lands in eastern Oregon and Washington are in need of restoration. After more than a century of active fire suppression and evolving timber management practices, more lands have become more vulnerable to uncharacteristic outbreaks of insects, diseases, and wildfires. The current pace of active forest restoration with thinning and prescribed burning is not keeping pace with forest growth. In addition, the economic livelihood of several communities is threatened by the potential closure of sawmills, bringing with it the loss of jobs of not only millworkers, loggers and truck drivers, but also teachers, store clerks, fuel suppliers, county road crews, and more.
Eastside forests desperately need restoration through thinning and prescribed burning. Eastside communities need the raw material and jobs created by restoration work. Restoration work depends on a healthy forest products industry to provide labor, capital, and equipment, and robust community collaboratives to identify and overcome obstacles to restoration activity Therefore, we cannot afford to lose the forests, and we cannot afford to lose the mills. The eastside restoration strategy is focused on accelerating the pace and scale of forest restoration to provide both healthy forests and healthy communities.
- There are compelling ecological, social, and economic imperatives to accelerate forest restoration on national forests in eastern Oregon and Washington.
- The current rate of restoration cannot keep pace with forest growth. Acres in need of restoration will continue to out-pace restoration accomplishments if the Forest Service continues to use the same management approach.
- To restore ecological resiliency to significant areas of eastside national forests and ensure socio-economic viability of eastside communities, the Forest Service will accelerate the pace and scale of restoration.
- Forest Service capability to conduct restoration activities on eastside lands requires a working forest products industry that will enable restoration to proceed at a reasonable cost. That industry still exists in eastern Oregon and Washington, but its survival is tenuous.
- Community engagement, particularly through place-based collaborative groups and partnerships, is essential to Accelerated Restoration.
- Accelerated restoration will begin in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington where existing collaboratives are actively engaged with the Forest Service in landscape-scale restoration projects.
News and Announcements
Blue Mountains Restoration Strategy Interdisciplinary Team
Back row: Neil McCusker, Michael Brown, Paul Boehne, Bill Aney. Front row: Amy Gowan, Ayn Shlisky, Brian Spradlin, Jenifer Ferriel, Barbara Wales
Blue Mountains Restoration Strategy Interdisciplinary Team
- Bill Aney – Coordinator
- Ayn Shlisky – Team Lead
- Michael Brown – Hydrologist
- Paul Boehne – Fisheries Biologist
- Jenifer Ferriel – Ecologist/Botanist
- Amy Gowan – Sociologist
- Neil McCusker – Vegetation Management Specialist/Silviculturist
- Brian Spradlin - Vegetation Management Specialist/Silviculturist
- Barbara Wales – Wildlife Biologist
Read biographies of the team members.
Monthly Update Archives
Collaborative Corner: Partners in Eastside Forest Restoration
Read more about accelerated restoration: how it works, why we do it, how it's done and who is involved.
Regional Peer Learning Workshop: Accelerated Landscape Restoration February 9th-11th
Regional Peer Learning Workshop: Accelerated Landscape Restoration February 9th-11th, 2016
Workshop Topics and Links
- Aquatic Restoration NEPA at a Forest Scale— Steve Namitz, Fish Biologist, Malheur NF
- Using an Integrated Landscape Approach for Project Identification and Planning—Amanda Lindsay, Silviculturist, Blue Mountain RD, Malheur NF
- Fremont-Winema Accelerated Landscape Restoration and IDT Approaches—Amy Markus, Forest Wildlife Biologist, Fremont-Winema National Forest; Kelly Ware, Westside Zone Environmental Coordinator, Fremont-Winema National Forest; and Andrew Spencer, Westside Zone Silviculturist, Fremont-Winema National Forest
- Blue Mountains restoration strategy and lessons learned about large scale planning—Michael Brown, Physical Scientist, Blue Mountains Restoration Interdisciplinary Team
- Aha! Moments in Stewardship – A Forest’s Journey in Innovation—Karen Honeycutt, Natural Resources Program Manager, Colville NF
- Mill Creek to A to Z: bringing stewardship contracting into planning—Kathleen Ward, Natural Resources Staff Officer, Colville NF
- Stewardship agreement with Klamath Tribe, interaction between agreements and contracting – Judd Lehman, Timber Program Manager/Contracting Officer, Fremont-Winema NF
- Siuslaw NF Stewardship model and collaborative engagement – Casey Hawes, Timber Operations Staff, Siuslaw NF
- Fremon-Winema NF implementation pilot efficiencies – Judd Lehman, Timber Program Manager/Contracting Officer, Fremont-Winema NF
- Prescribed fire at scale –Dana Skelly, Assistant Fire Staff-Fuels Program Manager, Malheur NF
- Partnering with scientists and a collaborative on moist mixed conifer science—Andrew Merschel, Oregon State University; Beth Peer, Environmental Coordinator, Bend/Fort Rock RD, Deschutes NF
- Science Camp Unplugged: An experiment in scientist-manager collaboration to identify the best available science for the Forest Resiliency Project —Ayn Shlisky, Blue Mountains Restoration Interdisciplinary Team
- LiDAR and Applications at the Project Level – Brian Wing, Forest Inventory LiDAR Specialist, PSW Research Station
- The State-Federal Implementation Partnership—Chad Davis, Oregon Department of Forestry; Bill Aney, Eastside Restoration Coordinator
- Your Partnership Toolbox – What is the Right Tool for the Job? Exploring Partnership “Tools” for Landscape Restoration --Janelle Geddes, R6 Supervisory Grants Management Specialist