Category Archives: firewood

Forest Service partners to extend outreach in Slavic community

USDA Forest Service staff, Slavic Family Media employees, and their families gather for a group photo following the signing of a partnership agreement July 17, 2019. The media company manages a number of Russian-language news and information platforms serving the Slavic community in and around Portland, Ore. and across the Pacific Northwest. Under the agreement, the group will assist the agency in translating and sharing Forest Service information about conservation, permits, fire prevention, recreation. volunteerism, and other public lands news and information for the Slavic community through spring, 2020. USDA Forest Service photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Aug 20, 2019) — The USDA Forest Service has signed an agreement with Slavic Family Media to expand the agency’s outreach to the Russian -speaking immigrant and refugee community in and around the Portland metro, which includes Multnomah County, Ore. and Clark County, Wash.

“Our community loves recreating, and they love to hike, camp, and enjoy day trips to harvest mushrooms and berries. Our goal as a community organization is to ensure make sure that our people our members have the proper information and resources to do so safely and legally,” Timur Holove, the media organization’s creative director, said. “We want to give our audience this valuable information in their native language so they can understand and take advantage of all the programs offered by the U.S. Forest Service,” some of which they may not have even known existed, he said.

To underscore the importance of this outreach effort to the agency, the agreement was signed live, on-air, by Nick Pechneyuk, Slavic Family Media chief executive officer, and Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest regional forester, at the Slavic Family Media radio and television studios in Portland, Ore.

From left: Timur Holove, creative director for Slavic Family Media, Nick Pechneyuk, chief executive officer, and Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest regional forester, on the set at Slavic Family Media radio and television studios in Portland, Ore. July 17, 2019. USDA Forest Service photo.

“This agreement … is really another step forward in our commitment to shared stewardship, and expanding our engagement to broader audiences, like the Slavic family,” Casamassa said during the July 17 signing. “This is a great opportunity, for us, noth only for this generation, but for future generations as well, to be able to work together.”

The agreement that outlines how the two organizations will work together to bring information about the national forest system to the Russian-language speaking population in and around Portland, Ore.

“We’re providing information that we need disseminated to the Slavic population,” Shandra Terry, Forest Service regional program coordinator for community engagement and inclusion, said. “And what we are providing is information that they can use – about recreation, and special use permits for special forest products, such as mushrooms, huckleberries, Christmas trees – things that are special to this community. These are opportunities that public lands offer, and this demographic will now have better opportunities to access these public lands and services.”

Under the agreement, Slavic Family Media will translate information provided by the Forest Service into Russian, then communicate it via the company’s various Russian-language media platforms. These include television, radio, a website, social media, and print publications – including a newspaper, business journal, and a magazine that, combined, potentially reach more than 150,000 Russian -speakers across the Pacific Northwest.

Information will include conservation education, recreation, and land stewardship topics, wildland fire prevention and preparedness information, and information about special places on nearby National Forest lands, such as the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Terry said.

From left: Shandra Terry, Forest Service regional program coordinator for community engagement and inclusion, and Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest regional forester, pose with an example of a wildland fire prevention product that was translated into Russian while at the Slavic Family Media radio and television studios in Portland, Ore. for the July 17, 2019 partnership signing ceremony. USDA Forest Service photo.

The Slavic language family is diverse, consisting of languages that include Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldova. But many immigrants from former Soviet countries learned to speak, read, and write in Russian in school, or from family members who were taught in Russian and otherwise discouraged by that government from using their native language in public life, prior to the dissolution of the U.S.S.R.

After English and Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian are the 3rd largest language-group spoken in Oregon. Large Slavic communities are also present in Washington State, in the Seattle-Tacoma metro, and smaller populations of Russian-language speakers are found in several areas of rural Washington and Oregon.

In the U.S., English, is the language most often used for communicating government information, placing non-fluent speakers at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving information or from benefiting fully from public services – including public lands, and specifically opportunities available on National Forests and Grasslands.

Terry said that while working on this partnership and related Slavic outreach efforts, she’s learned many in the community deeply value opportunities to spend time in the outdoors, and are very interested in information that will expand their opportunities to access public lands.

“Fishing is a huge area of interest. So is finding places the family can gather, and make memories,” she said, noting that Christmas tree -cutting permits and the Every Kid Outdoors (formerly, Every Kid in a Park) program for fourth-graders have been a particularly strong draw in previous Forest Service engagements with Portland’s Slavic community. “They’re wanting to know more about what the regulations are, so they can access those places. We’ll be sharing a lot of information, about our special places and how to access them, so they can do that.”

Terry said she hopes the Forest Service’s partnership with Slavic Family Media will help more members of this community find connect with public lands stewardship and volunteer opportunities, as well.

“These are public lands. They are for everyone, and we are all responsible for them,” she said.

Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa will also deliver remarks to the Slavic community Sept. 1, 2019 at the Slavic Family Festival 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Gateway Discovery Park (10520 NE Halsey St.; Portland, Ore.). Casamassa will deliver his remarks at approx. 11 a.m. The agency will have employees present to provide forest user information throughout the day, and Smokey Bear is scheduled to make an appearance at the event.

From the Memorandum of Agreement (signed July 19):

  • National Forest System lands are open and welcoming to everyone.  Slavic Family Media and USDA Forest Service value the opportunity to communicate and highlight National Forest recreation opportunities, forest products, eco therapy, forest safety, smoke health, fire recovery information, conservation education, volunteer and employment opportunities and National Forest System events to audiences primarily in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area through multimedia opportunities. 
  • The partnership between Slavic Family Media and the USDA Forest Service signifies our partnership and commitment to connecting Russian-speaking communities to national forest lands and Forest Service engagement opportunities. 
  • The USDA Forest Service is committed to shared stewardship to protect public lands and deliver benefits to the people and communities we serve in Oregon and Washington. 
  • Through Slavic Family Media, the USDA Forest Service aims to leverage its communications and reach the Slavic community through bilingual (Russian and English) print, radio, and social media platforms.  This partnership initially became effective in March 2019.

Watch the signing ceremony, here:

USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region and Slavic Family Media partnership signing; July 17, 2019.

Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, Office of Communications and Community Engagement (staff report)

Smokey Bear to bring fire prevention message to Oregon license plates this summer

Smokey Bear is an iconic symbol of wildfire prevention. Oregon's new Keep Oregon Green special license plate joins 1950's artist Rudy Wendelin’s Smokey Bear with a backdrop of Oregon's lush forests. The plate's $40 surcharge will help fund wildfire prevention education activities around Oregon, which share Smokey and KOG's shared message regarding the shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires.

Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, the Ad Council, and Oregon Department of Forestry, have partnered to bring Smokey Bear and his important message to Oregon drivers: Only YOU can prevent wildland fires.

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles sold 3,000 vouchers for a new, Smokey Bear -emblazoned license plate in December.

The vouchers serve as pre-payment for the special plate surcharge fee for drivers hoping to adopt the new plate; the sale of 3,000 vouchers is required for the state to begin placing orders for plates with a new design.

With 3,000 vouchers sold in just a few days, the plate is will go into production soon, and will become available to vehicle owners registering their passenger vehicles, or replacing their existing license plates, later this year.

Once the plates are released, any Oregon vehicle owner can apply by paying a $40 “special plates” surcharge when registering for new or replacement license plates, in addition to the usual registration and plate fees.

The surcharge will help fund wildfire prevention activities conducted by Keep Oregon Green, an organization that educates the public about the shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfire in communities throughout Oregon.

For more information, visit:

Source information:
The Keep Oregon Green Association was established in 1941 to promote healthy landscapes and safe communities by educating the public of everyone’s shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires.

Smokey Bear was created in 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention. Smokey’s image is protected by U.S. federal law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council.

Campfire safety for forest visitors

Graphic of an aged paper banner on wood plank background, featuring caption text and graphic rendering of a bucket of fire being poured on flames from a fire ring.

PORTLAND, Ore. – July 9, 2018 – With warm and dry conditions across the region, fire officials urge visitors to practice campfire safety when recreating outdoors.

“Our firefighters will be busy this summer responding to lightning-caused wildfires,” said Traci Weaver, Public Affairs Officer for Fire Communications for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region. “Please help us out by being safe and responsible with fire so we don’t add unnecessary human-caused wildfires to the mix.”

Nationally, approximately 90% of wildfires are human caused. Unattended campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires on public land. In 2017, 45% of wildfires in Oregon and 91% of wildfires in Washington were human-caused.

If you are planning to have a campfire, please remember:

  • First, “know before you go” whether campfires are allowed in the area you are visiting. Fire restrictions may be in place depending on local conditions.
  • Keep your campfire small and away from flammable material, like overhanging tree branches or shrubs.
  • Use a designated campfire ring when available.
  • Keep water and a shovel nearby.
  • Completely extinguish your campfire by drowning your fire with water and stirring with a shovel.
  • Make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before leaving it.

This short video demonstrates how to properly build and extinguish a campfire.

More info:

Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety checklist (PDF) – via

Smokey How to Extinguish Campfire (002)

USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff.

Mt. Hood National Forest firewood permits available

A stack of sawn wood logs

SANDY, Ore. — April 16, 2018 — Mt. Hood National Forest personal-use firewood permits are now available for purchase for the 2018 firewood season. Prices are $10.00 per cord (two-cord minimum, 5 cord limit per household).

Firewood cutters should remember that roads may be inaccessible, depending on local conditions and snow level. Designated areas open for firewood cutting may change from week to week depending on supply and access, check for an updated firewood cutting information sheet before heading out onto the forest. As a requirement of their permit, firewood cutters must have valid permit with current firewood tags, a Mt. Hood National Forest firewood map, and a copy of the current firewood information sheet in their possession while cutting firewood on the forest.

Weekly information sheets showing current open areas are available at Ranger District offices and on the forest’s firewood web page.

To help ensure that the Mt. Hood National Forest has a sustainable firewood program, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Do not fell standing trees, dead or alive.
  • Notify your local district ranger office if you see anyone cutting into standing trees, and provide the office with a description of the vehicle, the time, and a license plate number.
  • Firewood cutters must have screen-type spark arrestors on their chainsaws, carry a pressurized chemical fire extinguisher not less than 8 ounces, and have a long-handled shovel with an 8-inch blade in their possession while harvesting firewood on the forest.
  • Before going to the forest, call your nearest Ranger Station for up-to-date information on supply and road conditions, as road conditions can change quickly.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you are expected home whenever traveling into the forest. It’s also a good practice to take along extra food, water, a forest map, and a first aid kit before setting off.

Purchase a personal-use firewood cutting permits or get more information at the following Mt. Hood National Forest ranger district offices:


Firewood Permit Locations
(All offices are closed for federal holidays)


Barlow Ranger District:

  • 780 NE Court St.; Dufur, OR

Open MON–FRI 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Phone: (541) 467-2291


Clackamas River Ranger District:

  • 595 Industrial Way; Estacada, OR

Open MON–FRI 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Closed 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Phone: (503) 630-6861


Hood River Ranger District:

  • 6780 Highway 35, Parkdale, OR

Open MON–FRI 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Phone: (541) 352-6002


Zigzag Ranger District:

  • 70220 E. Highway 26, Zigzag, OR

Open MON–FRI 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed: noon-1 p.m.). Phone: (503) 622-3191


Colville NF firewood permits now available

Close-up photo depicting part of a pile of firewood

COLVILLE, Wash. — April 11, 2018 — Colville National Forest firewood permits are now available at all forest offices and at participating retail locations, including North 40 locations in Colville, Mead and Spokane Valley, Wash.; Porter’s Plaza in Ione, Wash.; Selkirk Ace Hardware in Old Town, Idaho, and Harding’s Hardware in Republic, Wash.

Permits are $5 dollars per cord, with a 4-cord minimum ($20.00). There is a 12-cord maximum per household.

To purchase a personal use firewood permit please visit your local ranger station or one of the vendors.

Permit-holders are asked to keep in mind that the spring melt is underway, and many forest roads are soft and easily damaged; please stay off soft roads and remember roads that are frozen in the morning may become impassable if they thaw later in the day.

Additionally, forest visitors should keep in mind the forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and Firewood Cutting and Removal Map may show routes as open that are temporarily closed because the road has been damaged or is impassible. Please research your route carefully, and obey posted closure notices and signage for your safety and to protect the environment. Violators may be fined.

Illustration of a campfire consisting of logs and flames in front of a blue field resembling the night sky. Text reads: Buy it where you burn it.

Buy it where you burn it! Transporting firewood outside the area where it was collected can transport diseases and invasive pests. 

Keep it local! Moving firewood long distances can transport diseases and invasive pests. Buy or cut firewood in the same area you plan to burn it. For more information,

For more information about the Colville National Forest personal use firewood program, visit or call (509) 684-7000.



Participating vendors:

North 40, at:

  • 15228 N Newport Highway; Mead, WA 99201,
  • 8307 E Trent Ave.; Spokane Valley, WA 99212
  • 1150 S Main; Colville, WA 99114

Open MON–SAT 7 a.m.-7 p.m. & SUN 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


Porter’s Plaza, at:

  • 103 N Second Ave.; Ione, WA 99139

Open MON–SAT 5 a.m.-8 p.m. & SUN 6 a.m.-7 p.m.


Selkirk Ace Hardware, at: 

  • 495 E Highway 2; Old Town, ID 83822

Open MON–SUN 6 a.m.-7 p.m.


Harding’s Hardware, at:

  • 85 N Clark Ave.; Republic, WA 99166

Open MON–SAT 8 a.m.-6 p.m. & SUN 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Permits are also available for purchase at all Colville National Forest customer service locations, including the Forest Supervisor’s and District Rangers’ offices. For locations and current hours of operation, visit

Please note: Colville National Forest firewood permits are no longer available at the Bureau of Land Management’s Spokane District office.

Colville National Forest PAO staff report