Two Oregon landscapes selected for FY23 Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership funding
Release Date: Feb 24, 2023
Contact(s): Jon McMillan
PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 24, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership is continuing its efforts to improve forest health on public and private lands across the country. As part of this initiative, the USDA will invest over $48.6 million this year for projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, restore forest ecosystems, and combat climate change.
Two of the projects that will receive funding are located in Oregon and will be implemented in partnership with local organizations and agencies.
The North Wasco All Lands project, on and around the Mt. Hood National Forest, will focus on restoring and promoting resiliency in fire-adapted ecosystems in Hood River and Wasco counties. A variety of treatments, including thinning, weed treatments, road improvement, and vegetation management, will be used to reduce fuel loadings and thin overstocked stands. The project aims to create resiliency to large-scale disturbances, while mitigating wildfire threats to at-risk adjacent communities within the wildland urban interface and municipal watersheds in the project area. The total funding request for this project in Fiscal Year 2023 is $3,119,600.
“We’re excited to continue building wildfire resiliency across the eastern slopes of Oregon’s Cascades,” said Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor Meta Loftsgaarden. “Together with our neighbors, we’re working to return the landscape to its historic fire-adapted state while protecting our local communities.”
The Southern Blues Restoration project, located in the Southern Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and on and around the Malheur National Forest and in Grant County, aims to create strategic fuel treatments to reduce fire risk to local communities while improving forest, rangeland, and overall watershed resiliency. This project will also engage in outreach and education to landowners about their property to promote a more fire-adapted landscape. The total funding request for this project in Fiscal Year 2023 is $1,974,231.
“We look forward to strengthening our relationships with our partners and the community,” said Ann Niesen, Malheur National Forest Acting Forest Supervisor. “These Joint Chiefs funds, along with targeted fuels and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration funds, will be used to continue to confront the wildfire crisis.”
Both projects will contribute to the USDA's efforts to combat climate change and improve forest health, ultimately benefiting local communities and landowners. The initiatives will create job opportunities for local contractors and support the economies of the surrounding areas.
The projects are aligned with broad efforts to reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species. The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership is a collaborative effort between the USDA Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and it has been codified in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of a once-in-a-generation investment to improve the nation's infrastructure.
For more information on the Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership program, visit Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership | Natural Resources Conservation Service (usda.gov).