Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative

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The Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative was convened in 2012 by Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe and Crook County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren to help the Ochoco National Forest plan and analyze forest restoration projects.

The group includes a diverse set of participants with differing interests and backgrounds, and is facilitated professionally to achieve open dialogue, group cohesion, and areas of consensus.

The Ochoco National Forest has interacted with the collaborative on several different issues, but has spent the majority of its interaction on the Wolf Fuels and Vegetation Management Project.

Forest planners worked with the Collaborative to identify priority watersheds in need of restoration and began the process of developing a proposal within the Wolf Creek watershed. 

Analysis for the Wolf project began in 2013 and incorporated significant input from the Ochoco Collaborative. Throughout 2013 and 2014, forest planners met regularly with Collaborative members to discuss the planning effort, and the rules and regulations guiding the Forest Service, and to seek input on proposals. The interactions included multiple field trips to see first hand the conditions on the ground in question.

In September 2014, the Ochoco National Forest issued a Record of Decision for the Wolf project.

At the time of the decision, Paulina District Ranger Sandy Henning said, "This project represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication of our publics and local collaborative during project planning. We look forward to continuing those efforts during implementation phases of the project."

The Wolf project takes place within a 24,500-acre project area, located about 50 miles east of Prineville near the intersection of Wolf Creek and North Wolf Creek.

The project calls for about 4,700 acres of commercial thinning, noncommercial thinning on an additional 988 acres, Juniper cutting on 481 acres, an additional 5,000 acres of prescribed burning, and hardwood enhancement on another 90 acres.
 
The goals of the project are to enhance the diversity and resiliency of forest conditions, reduce fuel loadings, improve riparian conditions, large tree structure and fire-tolerant species, as well as contribute to local economies by providing timber products.
 
Implementation of the Wolf project has already begun.
 
To find out more about the Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, go here: https://sites.google.com/site/ochococollaborative/home
 

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