by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers
Drought Impacts CA and OR Forests:
California and southwest Oregon are in the midst of a massive forest die-off, with an estimated 66 million trees killed in CA during 2015 & 2016. Drought, pests, and disease have taken a destructive toll on the region’s forests. Dying trees are fuel waiting to feed a fire, and when forest managers and loggers can’t remove them, the consequences are deadly. Concerns are mounting that the die-off is creating an abundance of fuel likely to trigger costly and damaging wildfires. CA Governor Jerry Brown, and CA Sens. Feinstein and Boxer, wrote to US Forest Service Chief Tidwell, requesting that the US Forest Service to respond to the tree mortality crisis. Rep. Walden (R-OR) is the lone Oregon government representative to pursue urgent remedies to this problem with the USFS.
Fire Program Review:
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry and Board of Forestry in July received final recommendations report from the 2016 Fire Program Review Committee. The report focused on improving Oregon’s wildfire protection system for 16 million acres of private and public forestlands. The recommendations conclude a seven-month process and represent the most comprehensive review of ODF’s fire program in over a decade. Comprised of forest landowners, operators, legislators, governor’s staff and agency partners, the committee proposed upgrades in three categories: large fire funding, firefighting organization, and wildfire policy. The report will influence ODF fire protection work for many years to come. The full ‘2016 Fire Program Review Committee Report’ is available online at the ODF website: www.oregon.gov/odf/
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