USDA Forest Service Invests in Restoring State, Private, and Tribal Forests in Oregon and Washington

Release Date: 

Contact(s): Kristin Carver


PORTLAND, Ore., September 8, 2023 — The USDA Forest Service investing over $1 million in projects in Oregon and Washington to restore forests across tribal, state and private lands. These funded projects mark the first time the Forest Service has made Landscape Scale Restoration program grants directly available to federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to restore priority forest landscapes on tribal lands, including trust lands, reservation lands, and other lands owned by tribes.

"The Landscape Scale Restoration program is an important way we work with communities across all lands," said Forest Service Deputy Chief for State, Private, and Tribal Forestry Jaelith Hall-Rivera. "This year, the Landscape Scale Restoration program is directly supporting tribes to improve health and resilience of tribal lands. Making this program directly available to tribes to restore tribal trust lands is an important step in honoring our commitment to strengthening our nation-to-nation relationships."  

In Washington, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians was selected to receive $122,434 in Landscape Scale Restoration program grants for their Forest Fuels Management through Biochar Air Curtain Burners project. The project aims to reduce forest fuels and transform them into biochar, which is a type of charcoal used for soil amendment and carbon sequestration. The project is a pilot project in partnership with The Lands Council and others. Air Burners, a company that produces machines for biomass burning, has also partnered with the Forest Service to explore biochar production.

Also in Washington, the state was selected to receive $299,654 in funding for their Klickitat Forest Health and Wildfire Risk Reduction Project.  This project aims to increase the resilience of the forest and reduce the risk of wildfires to communities in the Klickitat County, Washington. The project involves treating 42-53% of forested acres using a combination of methods such as fuels mitigation.

In Oregon, the following projects were selected for funding:

  • Bear Wallow Restoration Project - $300,000. The Bear Wallow Restoration Project aims to restore 28 square miles of wetland ecosystems and reduce the risk of wildfires in the Bear Wallow Wilderness Area and Gilchrist State Forest in Oregon. The project involves fish barrier removal to support native fish restoration activities, timber stand and wildlife habitat improvement, and reducing the risk of wildfires by clearing out wildfire fuels.
  • Collaborative Habitat Restoration and Fuels Reduction in the North Fork Eagle Watershed - $290,514. This project aims to reduce the risk of major wildfires and restore the ecological diversity and wildlife habitat of the North Fork Eagle Creek watershed. The watershed extends between the towns of Sandy and Estacada, Oregon.
  • Cooperative Burning in Southwest Oregon - $71, 206. The project will work to foster collaboration on prescribed fires between landowners between landowners, agencies, and Tribal nations to reduce the risk of wildfires.

"These investments will play a critical role in restoring forests across tribal, state, and privately managed lands, promoting forest health, and enhancing biodiversity,” said Liz Berger, Acting Regional Forester for the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region. “Our goal is to create resilient forests that will benefit native wildlife and provide long-term ecological and economic benefits for the communities we serve."

The Forest Service will invest a total of $16.2 million in fiscal year 2023 across the nation to help Tribes, state agencies, local governments, and partners restore healthy, resilient, climate-adapted forests. A complete list of funded projects for Fiscal Year 2023 is available here: Landscape Scale Restoration 2023 Funded Projects | US Forest Service (usda.gov).

 

Media Contact: Kristin Carver

kristin.carver@usda.gov

www.fs.usda.gov/r6