Category Archives: Forestry

Colville NF revised forest plan objection resolution meetings April 24-26

A moose roams in a meadow on the Colville National Forest in Washington state, in this Oct. 5, 2013 file photo. USDA Forest Service photo.

COLVILLE, Wash. –  Objection resolution meetings regarding the proposed revisions to the Colville National Forest’s Forest Land Management Plan (“Forest Plan”) are scheduled for April 24-26, 2019 in Colville, Wash.

Meetings will take place April 24 and 25, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day, at Spokane Community College – Colville; and April 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Stevens County Ambulance Training Center.

The meetings are open to the public for observation.

Discussions during the meeting will be opened to eligible objectors (those who filed during the objection-filing period, which closed Nov. 6, 2018) and interested persons granted recognition by the reviewing officer after submitting a letter of interest during the advertised notice period (which closed Nov. 26, 3018). If you believe you have status as an objector or eligible person but have not been notified, or if you have other questions about the forest planning or objections process, contact
hollyahutchinson@fs.fed.us.

Background:

The 60-day objection-filing period began on September 8, 2018, after the Forest Service published its legal notice in The Seattle Times, which is the newspaper of record for Regional Forester decisions in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service in the state of Washington. The objections-filing period closed on November 6, 2018. View submitted objections here.

The Forest Service has published the revised Forest Plan , supported by a Final Environmental Impact Statement. The draft Record of Decision and other supporting documents are available on this website.

The purpose of the revised Forest Plan is to provide an updated framework to guide the management of approximately 1.1 million acres of National Forest System lands in northeastern Washington.

The revised Plan replaces the existing 1988 Plan, addressing changes in local economic, social, and environmental conditions over the past 30 years.

The proposed revision honors the time and energy invested by diverse interests since the plan revision process began in 2004. The Forest Service received 926 letters containing over 2,000 comments regarding the draft EIS in 2016. In response to substantive formal comments, and following further public engagement in 2016-17, the Forest Service modified the preferred alternative (“Alternative P”) to better reflect public input on recommended wilderness, livestock grazing, and recreation.

Before the final decision is made on the revised Forest Plan, the Forest Service follows the requirements of 36 CFR 219.5 for a pre-decisional administrative review, which provides an opportunity for the resolution of objections.

Visit the Objection Reading Room to view eligible objection letters. These letters were received or postmarked by the deadline (November 6, 2018) and met the objection filing requirements. The Reviewing Officer sent a notification letter to each eligible objector to confirm acceptance of their objection for further review.

Eligible objectors have an opportunity to participate in objection-resolution meetings, and will also receive a final written response from the Reviewing Officer after the review is complete.

Written requests for recognition as an interested person (36 CFR 219.57) must meet the requirements and were required to be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on November 26, 2018. (Please see the legal notice in The Seattle Times for more information).

Eligible interested persons who have been granted recognition by the Reviewing Officer will be able to participate in discussions with Objectors and the Reviewing Officer related to issues on the meeting agenda that interested persons have listed in their requests.

The meetings also are also open to observation by the public.

For documents, updates, and additional information about the Colville National Forest Land Management Plan (“Forest Plan”) revision process, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/colville/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprd3824594


Source information: Colville National Forest staff report.

Evolving toward shared stewardship

Leadership Corner - Glenn Casamassa

As an organization that has a value around interdependence, it is important for us to create experiences for peer-learning and building collective understanding around key concepts we want to move out on.

Recently, our Pacific Northwest regional leadership team had the amazing opportunity to learn side-by-side in an interactive forum with our district rangers, research and Washington Office colleagues, state partners, and some tribal representatives to explore what Shared Stewardship means, where it came from, and how it will apply to our work all the way down to the district level.

We have heard interest from other regions and stations so we hope we can soon expand our knowledge in this arena beyond even our own regional borders.

One of the things we explored was how Shared Stewardship may be a new term for many, but it is certainly not a new concept. The evolution toward Shared Stewardship represents the convergence of several factors over the last decades—new authorities and policies that govern our work, new and expanded science that informs it, and our own internal exploration and discovery of Who We Are and how we need to show up in community.

Shared Stewardship Gallery Walk: Values-based. Purpose-driven, Relationship-focused. This image shows highlights in the USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region's journey to a Shared Stewardship approach to public lands, from 2000 to present.
Shared Stewardship Gallery Walk: Milestones in the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s journey to a Shared Stewardship approach to public lands, from 2000 to present. Click image to open a larger version in a separate window. – Graphic by USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region.

We explored how our Shared Stewardship approach will build on the strength of our existing partnerships and collaborative groups in the region that have matured over this same time period. And we were clear that we will need to embrace new ways of doing business and different ways of being.

Together we heard from our state partners directly and learned how they are uniquely positioned to convene stakeholders across communities to evaluate the needs and agree on cross-jurisdictional planning areas.  We started to lay out the vision for our Oregon and Washington Shared Stewardship agreements that will be signed with the states this spring and we discussed how to share decision space with governors’ offices and state agencies to set broad priorities together based on the holistic needs and values of our communities, state forest action plans and other tools.  We also worked in small groups to workshop projects ideas at the state scale to not only meet our essential timber volume and fuels acres treated goals, but also integrate them with the our other priorities that our states, tribes and communities are telling us are important, like recreation, access, and infrastructure.  

Forest Service employees and state partners workshop project ideas in small groups during the agency's Pacific Northwest Region's recent Shared Stewardship meeting with regional leadership and partners. USDA Forest Service photo by Chris Bentley.
Forest Service employees and state partners workshop project ideas in small groups during the agency’s Pacific Northwest Region’s recent Shared Stewardship meeting with regional leadership and partners. USDA Forest Service photo by Chris Bentley.

Given the strong history of collaboration in our region and the strength of our existing Good Neighbor Authority agreements, we also spent some time exploring how Shared Stewardship is different and here’s what I would offer on that account:

  • Shared Stewardship with the States will elevate planning and decision-making from the national forest level to the state-level when appropriate. Together Forest Service and the states will use scenario planning tools to assess opportunities, risks and alternatives for managing the risk, and set priorities for investments that will bring the most bang for the buck.
  • It will use new and existing science to do the right work in the right places at the right scale.  Instead of random acts of restoration, we will share decisions and place treatments where they can produce desired outcomes at a meaningful scale.
  • It will take full advantage of our capacity for shared stewardship across shared landscapes using all of our tools and authorities for active management. We will work with the states and other partners, including local communities, to choose the most appropriate tools tailored to local conditions.

As we embrace Shared Stewardship, we are also being intentional in creating a safe, supportive and resilient work environment because it is a determining factor in our ability to invite others into shared stewardship work with us—and as the Chief says, that’s what Shared Stewardship is—an invitation.

Once the agreements are signed this spring, the region is exploring how to develop more forums and workshops alongside our state partners and with our on-the-ground workforce to start sharing the priorities and planning projects across boundaries, at scale that lead to real progress.  So…stay tuned for more!

Glenn Casamassa,
Pacific Northwest Regional Forester

Panelists discuss natural resources research during the USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region's recent Shared Stewardship meeting with regional leadership and partners. USDA Forest Service photo by Chris Bentley.

Panelists discuss natural resources research during the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s recent Shared Stewardship meeting with regional leadership and partners. USDA Forest Service photo by Chris Bentley.

Source Information: Glenn Casamassa is the Regional Forest for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, supervising operations and staff on all national forests and grassland in Oregon and Washington State. For more information about the agency’s Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), visit: www.fs.usda.gov/r6. (Originally published April 10, 2019, at: https://www.fs.fed.us/blogs/leaders-perspective-shared-stewardship).

USDA Forest Service releases final instructions on objections for Blue Mountains Forest Plan revisions

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 14, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service has released final objection instructions for the Umatilla, Malheur, and Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plan Revisions.

The Regional Forester has been instructed to withdraw the draft Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and the three Revised Plans.

Forest Service Acting Deputy Chief and Reviewing Officer Chris French issued a letter to Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa explaining his instruction.

“Many factors compounded to produce revised plans that would be difficult to implement,” French wrote. “While my review did not identify any specific violations of law, regulation, or policy, significant changes occurred over the 15-year time period of the planning process.”

French said that a number of plan modifications occurred that were often complex and not well understood, and there were a number of changes in organizations, stakeholders, and key Forest Service staff.

The Revised Plans also did not fully account for the unique social and economic needs of local communities in the area.

“The resulting plans are very difficult to understand, and I am concerned that there will be ongoing confusion and disagreement as to how each Revised Plan is to be implemented,” French said.

The Forest Plans for the Umatilla, Malheur, and Wallowa-Whitman have been under revision for nearly 15 years.

The Final EIS, three Revised Plans, and the draft Record of Decision were released in June 2018 for the pre-decisional objection process.

Approximately 350 objections were filed on a variety of issues, most significant being access and travel management, impacts of the plan decisions on local communities, the Aquatic and Riparian Conservation Strategy, wildlife issues, and forest management.

Objection resolution meetings were held in five different communities in November and December of 2018. Over 300 people participated voicing concerns and clarifying objections on a wide variety of issues.

“I recognize the hard work and commitment of your employees over the last 15 years,” French wrote. “I also realize how much dedication, energy, time, and effort that the public has put into this process. I am confident that the information and data collected and analyzed, as well as the breadth of objection issues, can be used to inform our next steps.”

Existing Land and Resource Management Plans, as amended, will remain in place as the Forest Service determines next steps for the Umatilla, Malheur, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.

In the coming months, Forest Service officials will engage stakeholders to explore ways of working together to support a path forward on shared priorities including strengthening local economies, reducing wildfire risk, ensuring access, and supporting healthier watersheds.

“We are committed to the responsible stewardship of National Forest System lands and confident that we can find common ground for the long-term sustainable management of these forests,” said Regional Forester Casamassa. “I look forward to joining local and state officials, partners, Tribes, and members of the public to explore how we can best work together in shared stewardship to pursue common objectives.”

More information on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision Objection and Resolution Process can be found here.


Source information: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region staff (press release)

Forest Service seasonal hire applications open March 4-6

Field Ranger talking with visitors at Devils Churn, Cape Perpetua, Siuslaw National Forest,

PORTLAND, Ore. — March 1, 2019 —  The USDA Forest Service is accepting additional applications for selected seasonal employment opportunities March 4-6, 2019.

Applications will be accepted for identified positions across Washington and Oregon that were not filled during the agency’s initial round of 2019 seasonal hiring.

Seasonal employment opportunities will be listed on www.usajobs.gov March 4-6 for the summer, 2019 season. Prospective applicants should refer to individual job listings for more details about specific positions.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area:

Hood River, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Stevenson, WA
TEMP-GS-0025-04-Park Ranger

Colville National Forest:

Colville, WA
TEMP-GS-0817-03-Survey Aid

Kettle Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-1001-04-Visitor Information Assistant
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician

Metaline Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Republic, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician

Deschutes National Forest:

Bend, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Seed Extractory)

Crescent, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Redmond, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Dispatch)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Fire Dispatch)
TEMP-GS-2151-05-Automotive Equipment Dispatcher (Logistics)

Sisters, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Fremont-Winema National Forest:

Chiloquin, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0193-09-Archaeologist

Lakeview, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-WG-5716-08-Engineering Equipment Operator (CDL Required)

Paisley, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Silver Lake, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer

Gifford Pinchot National Forest:

Amboy, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)

Randle, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)

Toutle, WA
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer

Trout Lake, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)

Malheur National Forest:

Hines, OR
TEMP-GS-0102-04-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)

John Day, OR
TEMP-GS-0455-04-Range Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-04-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0455-05-Range Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0404-07-Biological Science Technician (Plants)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

Darrington, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Granite Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Prairie City, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

Mt. Hood National Forest:

Dufur, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Lookout)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Estacada, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Parkdale, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)

ZigZag, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)
TEMP-WG-4749-05-Maintenance Worker (Facilities)

Ochoco National Forest:

Prineville, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archeology Technician

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest:

Entiat, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Plants/Noxious Weeds)

Tonasket, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Winthrop, WA
TEMP-GS-0464-02-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest:

Butte Falls, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Cave Junction, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0404-06-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

Central Point, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)

Gold Beach, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-06-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-06-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0102-07-Archaeology Technician

Jacksonville, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-06-Biological Science Technician (Plants)
TEMP-GS-0455-07-Range Technician

Medford, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0455-07-Range Technician

Powers, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0102-07-Archaeology Technician

Prospect, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)

Siuslaw National Forest:

Hebo, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)

Reedsport, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Waldport, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)
TEMP-GS-0025-05-Park Ranger

Umatilla National Forest:

Heppner, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Ukiah, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Pomeroy, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Walla Walla, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Willamette National Forest:

Detroit, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Wilderness/Trails)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

McKenzie Bridge, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-1001-04-Visitor Information Assistant
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Wilderness/Trails)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Westfir, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Plants/Noxious Weeds)


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region

Op-Ed: Thank you, communities, partners and volunteers, for all your support during government shutdown

Leadership Corner - Glenn Casamassa

The five-week government shutdown was a trying time for Forest Service employees and their families. Our partners, volunteers, permittees, and contractors were also impacted, as well as many businesses and communities closely tied to national forests and the work we do.

On behalf of the Forest Service employees across the Pacific Northwest, I want to thank everyone who stepped up to help and support our employees and the national forests during this challenging time.

We are grateful and touched by this outpouring of support. Citizens and businesses offered assistance to help employees make ends meet and care for their families.

State and local agencies chipped in to help protect and maintain recreation sites.

Dedicated volunteers came out in droves and partners carried on our shared conservation work.

Times like this underscore the importance of shared stewardship. Our shared commitment to public lands – and each other – drives everything we do.

Today, we are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before.

The opportunities and challenges we face transcend boundaries and impact people beyond the jurisdiction of any single agency or organization.

That’s why we are committed to working across boundaries in shared stewardship with states, partners, and local communities to support each other and accomplish shared objectives.

We’re glad to be back at work doing what we love – caring for the land and serving people.

We are currently assessing the shutdown’s impacts and determining how best to adjust to ensure we continue to deliver the services the public expects.

We will engage our partners and local communities in these conversations as we adapt and move forward together.

Service is one of our bedrock values.

We are heartened and humbled to know that when the need arises, our communities, partners, and the public we serve are here for us, too.

We thank you wholeheartedly for your support and look forward to continuing our work together in shared stewardship.


Glenn Casamassa,
Pacific Northwest Regional Forester
 


Source Information: Glenn Casamassa is the Regional Forest for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, supervising operations and staff on all national forests and grassland in Oregon and Washington State. For more information about the agency’s Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), visit: www.fs.usda.gov/r6.

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:
https://keeporegongreen.org/smokey-bear-license-plate/


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.

Open letter to Blue Mountains communities: First round of objection-resolution meetings a positive step

Leadership Corner - Glenn Casamassa

On Dec. 14, 2018, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa released the following “open letter” to the communities affected by the proposed Blue Mountains revised forest plan (Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests), including those who submitted formal objections or participated in objections resolutions meetings as part of the ongoing plan revision process.

See also:

https://yournorthwestforests.org/2018/11/21/forest-service-looking-to-listen-and-work-towards-resolution-in-blues-meetings/ 

***

chris_french_baker_city

Chris French, Acting Deputy Chief, National Forest System, USDA Forest Service, listens to a participant in Blue Mountains Forest Plan revision objections resolution meeting at High School in Baker City, Ore. USDA Forest Service photo by Travis Mason-Bushman.

Dear Objectors, Interested Persons, and Blue Mountains Community Members,

I recently had the privilege of meeting many of you during the first round of objection-resolution meetings for the Blue Mountains Revised Forest Plans.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated.

Over 300 Objectors, Interested Persons, and public observers attended meetings in John Day, Pendleton, Wallowa, Baker City, and La Grande, Oregon.

I am grateful for the time and effort invested by each of you. I hope you will agree that this first round of resolution meetings was a positive step.

The meetings were led by objection reviewing officers based in Washington, D.C., with support and coordination from the Pacific Northwest Regional Office as well as the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.

The goal for these initial meetings was to bring clarity and mutual understanding to the Blue Mountain Forest Plan objection issues.

The dialogue helped Forest Service leadership and staff to better understand your values, concerns, and views.

Spending time in Eastern Oregon improved much more than our understanding of the issues identified in the objections, though.

Through our initial discussions we also gained a deeper appreciation of local residents’ special relationships with the land.

We had it affirmed that, for many of those who live in and around the Blue Mountains, these national forests are not just places to visit and recreate – the forests are a vital part of your community life, identity, heritage, and livelihoods.

The Forest Service is striving to honor these special relationships in the Blue Mountain Forest Plan’s resolution process.

In doing so, we will better respect the views of many different community members – including our Tribal neighbors, the States of Oregon and Washington, County and other local government representatives, user groups, environmental groups, industry, and business – all of whom seek assurances that the Forest Service will protect their priority resources.

During the initial meetings the Forest Service heard a lot about a wide range of topics, including access; aquatic and riparian conservation; elk security and bighorn sheep; fire and fuels; fish, wildlife, and plants; livestock grazing; local government cooperation and coordination; public participation; social and economic issues; timber and vegetation; and wilderness, backcountry, and other special areas.

Digging into these topics in person gave the Forest Service the opportunity to explore issues that were not as prominent in the written objection letters.  From the dialogue, some issues appear to be close to resolution while others will require further discussion, so there will be more steps to take in this process.

The Forest Service knows that many topics are interrelated, and we will work to pull together the related topics for discussion in future meetings, so all of us can better see the connections and consider the trade-offs of potential resolutions.

The Forest Service also understands that not all Objectors and Interested Persons were able to attend the first round of meetings or have their voices represented by others.

So, as we navigate these next steps, the Forest Service will work ensure we are as inclusive as possible in future objections-resolutions meetings.

Over the coming weeks the reviewing officers will be studying the notes and reflecting on what we heard in the first round of resolution meetings and we will be helping the Washington Office in scheduling the next round of objections-resolutions meetings. We will be in touch again to announce the next steps.

Thank you for your contributions, and I look forward to making more progress together in the near future.

Kind regards,
Glenn Casamassa,
Pacific Northwest Regional Forester 



Source Information: Glenn Casamassa is the Regional Forest for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, supervising operations and staff on all national forests and grassland in Oregon and Washington State. For more information about the Blue Mountains Forest Plan planning process and scheduled objections resolution meetings, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r6/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd584707&width=full

Teachers, mentors: Apply to celebrate International Day of Forests with United Nations in Rome

The 2019 theme for the International Day of Forests is “Forests and Education” and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wants the world to know how you educate children and youth about the importance of trees and forests.

From the UN FAO website:

Today, more than half the world’s population lives in cities, and are increasingly disconnected from nature.

it is more essential than ever to bring an understanding and awareness of forests and their benefits into children’s lives at an early age.

We’re inviting teachers and non-teachers alike to send us a short video that shows how you provide children with a foundation to better understand the importance of forests and trees for our planet’s future.

The press release suggests taking video of “a traditional class, a field trip into the forest, an art or music lesson, or even a yoga class.”

Videos should 60 seconds or less, uploaded to YouTube, then submit the link via the entry form at http://www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests/teachers-contest/submission-form/en/.

Videos will be posted on FAO’s website, and the winner will join the staff at FAO headquarters in Rome to help celebrate the International Day of Forests on March 21, 2019.

Deadline for entries is Dec. 15, 2018.

For more information about eligibility, answers to frequently asked questions, and the submission form, visit:

http://www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests/teachers-contest



Source information: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, achieve food security for all, and to make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.

Regional Forester: Forest Service looking to listen and work towards resolution in Blues’ meetings

Leadership Corner - Glenn Casamassa

By Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester  –

Next week, I will be participating with a team of folks from the Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., in Objections Resolution meetings for the Revised Forest Plans for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. We will also be joined by other representatives from the Regional Office in Portland, Ore., and the involved National Forests.

Throughout this process, we received about 350 objection letters and have invited objectors from across the communities of Eastern Oregon to join us to discuss them.

I have worked closely with the Reviewing Officer, Chris French, for years and I know he and the team are as deeply committed to understanding your concerns as we are in the region.

We are coming to listen and hopefully begin the process of resolving your concerns and refining a shared vision for the future of these forests we all value.

It is important to all of us that we get to just sit down and talk with objectors and interested persons face-to-face.

The team has reviewed the objections and now, with this first round of meetings, we will all have an opportunity to work toward resolution—not in a room back in D.C., but rather there in the communities with you as citizens and stakeholders directly.

We hope to engage in meaningful dialogue and really listen to the issues of concern and to understand the underlying values that are important to each of you, your neighbors and the communities at large.

We’re committed to openness and are looking forward to the dialogue and opportunities for resolution that may surface.

I have had the opportunity to meet with several of your elected officials and our Forest Service partners thus far, and I have been moved by their commitment to the land and all of you.

Your communities are proud and resilient.

We want you to know that the team and I will be engaging directly with those who submitted objections during this process and we are ready to listen.

I hope to meet many of you next week.

Kind regards,

Glenn Casamassa
Regional Forester;
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region


Source Information: Glenn Casamassa is the Regional Forest for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, supervising operations and staff on all national forests and grassland in Oregon and Washington State. For more information about the Blue Mountains Forest Plan planning process and scheduled objections resolution meetings, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r6/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd584707&width=full

 

Field Notes: 自然に触れる大切さ (The Significance of Nature)

A man and woman pose holding pine cones.

Jay Hideki Horita is a resource assistant in the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s Office of Communications and Community Engagement. In this “Field Note,” he shares his first week on the job, which he spent working with a pair of Japanese Exchange students volunteering at the region’s Portland, Ore. office.

“As a new Resource Assistant with the Northwest Youth Corps and the U.S. Forest Service, I knew much of my job as a Youth & Community Engagement Specialist would be to act as a liaison between the Forest Service and improve information and access to the agency’s services for under-served communities in Oregon and Washington.

“I didn’t know that this would mean using my experience as a Japanese-American who is fluent in Japanese in my first week on the job!

“As a participant in the Resource Assistants Program, folks like me have an internship of at least six months, after which we have a shot at becoming a permanent employee of the Forest Service. It’s one of the ways the Forest Service is trying to attract a younger and more diverse workforce.

“Recently, the Forest Service hosted two volunteers from Musashino University 武蔵野大学at the agency’s Regional Office in downtown Portland. The students were studying in the U.S. as part as an exchange program, and required to complete a volunteer service project while they were here.

“My first assignment, as a recent graduate – more importantly, Japanese-language speaker, was to guide our new volunteers during their time with us in Portland.

“During job interviews in Japan, one often explains their motivation, or 切っ掛け (kikkake), for applying to an organization or company.

A man and woman pose holding pine cones.

Kousuke Yoshia (left) and Yukime Nakajima (right) hold Douglas Fir cones on a hike at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Ore. (Sept. 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

“For Yukime Nakajima and Kousuke Yoshida, their motivation aligns with many others who choose to work or volunteer for the Forest Service; an interest in forests, wildlife, and nature in general.

“Their assignment seemed simple enough: to help develop social media and other conservation education material by researching related pictures, quotations, and facts for 25 topics. The 25 topics ranged from universal themes like “employment” and “rivers” to more culturally-specific terms, like ‘Woodsy Owl’ and ‘Smokey Bear,’ ‘trail work,’ ‘wilderness,’ ‘mushroom foraging,’ and ‘veteran employment.’

“To understand these, the volunteers dove deep into the complicated history and culture surrounding U.S. land management.

“I asked Yukime what her favorite term was, and she expressed her affection for “Holiday Trees.” She was intrigued – and delighted – to learn that each year since 1970, the Forest Service provides the U.S. Capitol with a carefully chosen conifer, now known as “the People’s Tree.”

“These trees often complete cross-country trips to the National Mall in Washington D.C., where they are decorated with ornaments created by residents of the state where the trees originate.

“This charming tradition marries the Forest Service’s efforts with those of the many volunteers involved.

“The tradition also manifests more locally; the Forest Service encourages the public to harvest their own Christmas trees from National Forest -lands across the U.S., offering Christmas Tree cutting permits for only $5.

“Our two volunteers were delighted to hear about these traditions, as Christmas tree-harvesting is unheard of in Japan; indeed, Christmas itself is a holiday seldom celebrated in their country, as either a secular or religious holiday.

“Kousuke was surprised to learn about the darker history of land management in the United States. When looking at a map of Oregon, he asked me about the large tracts of reservation land.

“The ensuing conversation focused on the U.S. government’s displacement of and systemic discrimination against Native Americans and how this dark history laid the groundwork for public land management in the United States, including our national forests and parks.

“Through our work, our volunteers gained a more comprehensive and realistic understanding of the federal government’s role in U.S. land management.

“They also learned about the Forest Service’s more recent efforts to right these wrongs and to share perspectives often left out of the standard environmental education curriculum.

A woman and man pose with forestry hand tools

Yukime Nakajima (left) watches as Kousuke Yoshia (right) poses with a trail work tool while learning about forest recreation work. (Sept., 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

“Other terms, like ‘trail work’ or ‘wilderness,’ were completely foreign to our guests, who are both residents of Tokyo — Japan’s capital, and one of the worlds most densely populated cities.

“They learned about the creation of wilderness areas, and the trail work crews employed to maintain the nation’s many trails.

“We had sobering discussions about the accessibility of outdoor spaces for city residents across the world; in a mega-metropolis like Tokyo, these accessibility problems are often magnified.

“For their final day, the volunteers hiked the nearby Hoyt Arboretum, a 189-acre forest preserving 6,000 plant specimens from around the world. There, they gained a behind-the-scenes perspective on land management work.

Portland Parks & Recreation Trails Coordinator Jill Van-Winkle gave them a tour of the Arboretum’s facility, and the two experienced wielding a ‘double-jack’ and ‘Pulaski,’ among other classic trail work tools.

“Next, they visited the World Forestry Center, where they learned about the diverse forests across the world, including those in their home country Japan.

“Throughout these two weeks, both the Forest Service and the volunteers gained much insight into cross-cultural conservation work.

“As their journey in Oregon concluded, Yukime and Kousuke said they’d miss the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant landscapes, and wished they could stay longer.

“As the day ended, we said our final farewells in true cross-cultural spirit: with a big hug, and a low bow.

“When I asked Yukime what message she plans to bring home, she offered the phrase自然に触れる大切さ, which roughly translates as “the significance gained from nature.”

“She said she was moved by the love and care that people place on wilder places in this country and how nature gives its humans a way to understand love, care, and significance.

“For the many who live, work, and play in outdoor spaces – whether in the city or beyond – perhaps the same sentiments are true after an early morning wildlife sighting, an afternoon walk in the woods, or even an evening outdoors playing basketball on the blacktop, in a park surrounded by some of the trees that comprise Portland’s urban forest.”

A man and woman pose holding certificates outside the entrance and sign for the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum

Kousuke Yoshia (left) and Yukime Nakajima (right) at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon (Sept., 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

More information:

USDA Forest Service – Resource Assistant Program:
https://www.fs.fed.us/working-with-us/volunteers/resource-assistants-program


Source Information: Jay Hideki Horita is a resource assistant in the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s Office of Communications and Community Engagement.

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