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Pacific Northwest Research Station hosts Australian delegation

Left to right: Australian delegates Michael Hodder and Lee Miezis with PNW Research Station scientist Bruce Marcot. Forest Service photo.

OREGON — The Pacific Northwest Research station hosted environmental management officials from Australia on October 19 in Portland, Oregon. Two delegates from the Australian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Chief Operating Officer Michael Hodder and Deputy Secretary Lee Miezis, met with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station. Hodder and Miezis are visiting the United States and Canada to discuss forest, land, and emergency management operations.

In attendance from the Forest Service in Region 6 were: Jim Peña, regional forester; K.J. Silverman, director of digital resources management; Katy Strawn, Region 6 GIS coordinator and Traci Weaver; a public affairs officer. From the Pacific Northwest Research Station were: Susan Charnley, a research social scientist; Bruce Marcot, a research wildlife biologist and Cindy Miner, assistant station director of communications. Employees from the Bureau of Land management included; Bill Bush, a safety manager; Craig Goodell, a fire ecologist; Bruce Hollen, a wildlife biologist, Maria Thi Mai, a public affairs specialist; and Abe Wheeler, a forester. Darron Williams, a fire manager for the Bureau of Indian Affairs was also in attendance.

Topics for the discussion included:

  • Community involvement in public forest management
  • Environmental management/threatened species management in commercial timber harvesting
  • Field-based safety systems for forest and fire management
  • Forest management strategies to reduce the risk of wildfire
  • Improving safety and financial outcomes in forest and fire management
  • Involvement of Native Americans in forest and fire management
  • The use of field-based technology to improve productivity

The meeting’s purpose was shared learning through presentations by each person, with facilitated dialogue after each topic. The result was a lively 5-hour exchange that ran an extra hour, and each person in the room enjoyed the opportunity to add the expertise of the others to their knowledge base.