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Collaboration gets a vote of support from Oregon

Posted by Renee Magyar on November 18, 2013

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board makes dollars available for collaborative forestry

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The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) recently voted unanimously to offer a new funding opportunity for collaborative federal forest organizations. The Federal Forest Health Collaborative Capacity Assistance Grants are provided by OWEB to assist the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in advancing federal forest health in Oregon. The grants are one component in the overall Federal Forest Health Project funded by the 2013 Oregon Legislature. These competitive grants are intended to maintain and grow the capacity of community-based collaboratives to effectively increase the pace and scale of forest restoration on Oregon's federal forests. Funding is being provided by ODF to OWEB from the Oregon Lottery. OWEB plans to award up to $200,000 in grants before the end of January 2014, with another round of funds anticipated in summer of 2014.

Sustainable Northwest applauds this decision because it shows that the collaborative model, that we have pioneered and promoted since 1994, has gained wide acceptance as an effective way to accomplish broad reaching environmental and economic goals. Adopting this model, and investing Oregon tax dollars on federal forest management, is evidence of a major cultural shift that demonstrates our long-standing vision for rural communities and resource stewardship. This stamp of approval says collaboration works and needs to be enhanced and replicated.

We believe that State and OWEB investments in collaboration are a necessary condition for improved land management outcomes. We encouraged OWEB leadership to broaden their scope of activities to support and fund forest collaborative groups, and are happy they heard the testimonials from our partners who promoted the value of collaboration with the legislature. 

How to apply

The grant application, eligibility, performance measurement and guidance information can be accessed from OWEB's website.

From the agency's website: "OWEB is a state agency that provides grants to help Oregonians take care of local streams, rivers, wetlands and natural areas. Community members and landowners use scientific criteria to decide jointly what needs to be done to conserve and improve rivers and natural habitat in the places where they live. OWEB grants are funded from the Oregon Lottery, federal dollars, and salmon license plate revenue. The agency is led by a 17-member citizen board drawn from the public at large, tribes, and federal and state natural resource agency boards and commissions."