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USDA Awards $6 Million to Rural Oregon Communities

Posted by Renee Magyar on February 3, 2012

Two projects in Oregon are the largest recipients of CFLRP investment in the nation, expected to create over 200 jobs.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Department of Agriculture Awards $6 Million to Oregon for Forest Restoration and Job Creation

February 3, 2012

Contact: Caleb Dean (503) 221-6911 ext 105

cdean@sustainablenorthwest.org

Portland, OR - The US Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that the Malheur and Fremont-Winema National Forests will receive $6 million in 2012 through the Collaborative Forest Restoration Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) for forest restoration and job creation.  The CFLR program directs funds to national forests for 10 years as a long-term investment. Over the life of the project, a federal investment on these forests of $48,400,000 will restore over 300,000 acres of forest, reducing fire risk to local communities and simultaneously create more than 240 jobs and maintain current jobs in the forest products industry, while.

At a national scale, forests cover one-third of the United States; store and filter half the nation's water supply; provide jobs to more than a million wood products workers; absorb nearly 20% of U.S. carbon emissions; offer 650 million acres of recreational lands that generate well over $15 billion in economic activity annually; and provide habitat for thousands of species across the country.

Martin Goebel, President of Sustainable Northwest, who testified before Congress in support of the CFLR legislation, applauded the awards. "True to the intent of the CFLR program these awards are the reward for years of collaborative effort. In both locations, loggers, environmentalists, and agency officials worked together for the shared goals of forest restoration and job creation. This funding is a much needed investment in the future of the forest and these communities."

Grant County Judge Mark Webb is extremely pleased by the news of this award. "Grant County has 13% unemployment and forests that are in dire need of restoration. I am thrilled that Congress and the Administration have recognized the need for investment to help rural counties where 60% of the land is federally owned to move ahead from the timber wars to a future where forest health is the underpinning of renewed prosperity." A large portion of the Malheur National Forest is located in Grant County.

Jim Walls, Executive Director of the Lake County Resources Initiative, puts the award in perspective. "With 15 years of successful collaboration, this funding will accelerate restoration projects on the Fremont-Winema and compliment the recent timber infrastructure investments in Lake County."

Sustainable Northwest was one of the architects of the CFLR legislation and works closely with communities near both forests that were awarded funding. These forests are a part of Sustainable Northwest's Dry Forest Investment Zone, a five year program focused on increasing the ability of forest collaborative organizations to implement forest restoration and create jobs, as well as working to develop community-scaled biomass utilization and influence federal forest policy. The Dry Forest Investment Zone encompasses 15 counties in Eastern Oregon and Northern California.

The Malheur and Fremont-Winema National Forests join the Deschutes National Forest which was selected into the program in 2010. There are now three CFLRP landscapes within the Dry Forest Investment Zone. The CFLRP award is a significant milestone in these rural communities' effort to increase their economic and environmental resiliency. Collectively, the three Oregon national forests will create 350 jobs and treat more than 450,000 acres over the 10 year duration.

Selected project summary:

Southern Blues Restoration Coalition Project: 

  • Key SNW Partners: Blue Mountain Forest Partners, Harney County Restoration Collaborative, Malheur National Forest, Malheur Lumber Company

  • Funding Amount (2012): $2,500,000
  • Treatment acres: 271,980
  • Projected job creation (over the 10 year project period): 154 jobs (a 70% increase in restoration related employment)
  • Projected income (over the 10 year project period): $7,660,000 labor value

The Lakeview Stewardship Project:

  • Key SNW Partner: Jim Walls, Lake County Resources Initiative

  • Funding Amount (2012): $3,500,000
  • Treatment acres: 150,000
  • Projected job creation (over the 10 year project period): 88.4 jobs 
  • Projected income (over the 10 year project period): $3,389,744

Deschutes Skyline Project:

  • Key SNW Partner: Phil Chang, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council

  • Funding Amount (2010): $500,000 (2012): $832,100
  • Treatment acres: 30,000 - 40,000
  • Projected job creation (over the 10 year project period): 108 jobs
  • Projected income (over the 10 year project period): $3,800,000

Information on CFLRP can be found at the U.S. Forest Service's website: http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR/

Information on the Dry Forest Investment Zone can be found at the website of Sustainable Northwest: http://www.sustainablenorthwest.org/what-we-do/success-stories/dry-forest-zone-restoration

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