PORTLAND, Ore.(Sept. 10, 2019) — The USDA Forest Service will accept applications for more than 1,000 seasonal spring and summer jobs in Oregon and Washington from Sept. 16 – 30, 2019.
Positions are available in multiple fields, including fire, recreation, natural resources, timber, engineering, visitor services, and archaeology.
Applications must be submitted on www.USAJOBS.gov between Sept. 16 – 30, 2019.
More information about seasonal employment, available positions, and application instructions can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/main/r6/jobs. Job descriptions, including a link to submit applications, will be posted to www.USAJOBS.gov on Sept. 16.
Interested applicants are encouraged to create a profile on USAJOBS in advance to save time once the hiring process begins.
“We’re looking for talented, diverse applicants to help us manage over 24 million acres of public land in the Pacific Northwest,” Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester, said. “If you’re interested in caring for our national forests and serving local communities, I encourage you to apply.”
mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and
productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of
present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public
land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the
largest forestry research organization in the world.
The Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region includes 17 National Forests, a National Scenic Area, a National Grassland, and two National Volcanic Monuments, all within the States of Oregon and Washington. These public lands provide timber for people, forage for cattle and wildlife, habitat for fish, plants, and animals, and some of the best recreation opportunity in the country.
News release in English, русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish):
Join the Forest Service!Agency Accepting Applications for over 1,000 Seasonal Positions in Oregon and Washington (English)
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.
“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.
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:
Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, Office of Communications and Community Engagement (staff report)
PORTLAND, Ore. (Aug. 14, 2019)— On Tuesday, state and federal forestry officials joined Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and James Hubbard, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment in Salem, Ore., to sign a Shared Stewardship agreement between the state and the USDA Forest Service.
Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty and USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa, building on years of strong state-federal partnership, also signed the agreement to seek even greater collaboration between the agencies..
this agreement, the Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry will work
together to identify shared priorities and implement collaborative projects
focused on healthy and resilient forested ecosystems,
vibrant local economies, healthy watersheds with functional aquatic habitat,
and quality outdoor opportunities for all Oregonians.
“Federal and state agencies face many of the same challenges, including longer and more destructive wildfire seasons; forests facing threats from insects and disease, and the need to ensure the continued long-term ecological and socioeconomic benefits our forests provide,” Casamassa said. Pacific. “Working together in a spirit of shared stewardship, we are better prepared to tackle these challenges on a landscape scale.”
The Forest Service and the State of Oregon have a long history of working together, including coordinated fire protection and grant programs to cooperatively manage forest health issues across all forest lands in Oregon.
In 2016, the Forest Service signed a Good Neighbor Authority Agreement with the State of Oregon to increase the pace and scale of forest health and restoration projects.
Now, there are Good Neighbor projects underway on every national forest in the State of Oregon.
The Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry are working more closely and effectively on a wide variety of projects, including forest restoration, watershed restoration projects, timber sales, and other fuels reductions projects.
In May, the Forest Service signed a Shared Stewardship agreement with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
With this newly signed Oregon agreement, the Forest Service anticipates working even more effectively with state partners, on a landscape scale, across the Pacific Northwest.
PORTLAND, Ore.(July 27, 2019) — As July 4th and the Independence Day holiday approaches, fire officials remind visitors that fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited on public lands.
“With warm and dry conditions, all it takes is one small spark to start a wildfire,” Glenn Casamassa, regional forester for the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, said. “Please be safe and responsible with fire when visiting your public lands this summer!”
Fireworks are banned on national forests at all times, regardless of weather or conditions. Fireworks are also prohibited on other public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Oregon State Parks, and Washington State Parks, as well as most county and city parks.
Violators can be subject to a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail (36 CFR 261.52). Additionally, anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for the cost of fighting the fire.
Visitors are also encouraged to practice campfire safety as unattended campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires on public land.
If you are planning to have a campfire, remember:
First, check with the local unit and know before you go whether campfires are allowed in the area you are visiting. Fire restrictions may be in place, depending on current conditions.
Keep your campfire small and away from flammable material.
Use a designated campfire ring when available.
Keep water and 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.
Nationally, nearly nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused due to sparks from debris burning, equipment and machinery, campfires, vehicles, and other sources.
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 Areand how we need to show up in community.
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.
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!
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).
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 27, 2019 – A pair of future biologists are the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s selectees for 2019 Skanner Foundation scholarships.
Nikki Nguyen and Ganiyat Karimu, both seniors at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., were recognized March 13 during a reception at the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, also in Portland, where the agency’s regional office is based.
Nguyen has a 4.0 grade point average, and is an active
volunteer in her community.
“I do a lot with people,” she said. “One of the things I do
is volunteer at a soup kitchen, where I serve meals for homeless people. I also
volunteer at a church where every Friday night, they do a dinner for vulnerable
women, (and) distribute hygiene products.”
She also works part-time at an OB-GYN clinic as part of a
Nguyen has been accepted at Oregon State University, and said
she plans to study biology and is considering a career in medicine, where she
can explore how people interact with their environment and the impact of those
interactions on their health.
She credits her mom for inspiring her interest in science.
“When she was younger she wanted to be a nurse and was
always talking to me about how interested she was in biology and chemistry,”
Nguyen said. “But I was also interested for my own sake, because I was very
interested in living things, whether it was bacteria, or plants and animals.”
Karimu currently maintains a 3.94 grade point average, and has
been accepted to Charles R. Drew University.
She’s also an active volunteer, and recently completed her
second summer in a three-year internship at the Oregon Zoo, where she has worked
in support of conservation education programs.
Last year, that work included mentoring youth from
under-served communities, and leading overnight camping trips in the Columbia
River Gorge and nearby state parks for the zoo’s UNO (Urban Nature Overnights) program.
“When I was younger, I wasn’t really interested in the
forest,” she said. I was a city girl. The city trees were enough for me. Going
out in the woods, with no electricity, wasn’t really my idea of relaxing. Volunteering
with the zoo has changed that for me – I’ve jumped out of my comfort zone, a
huge distance. (But) being at places like Eagle Creek, it showed me the peace (to
be found) in nature,” she said.
Karimu and Nguyen both said they plan to study biology in
college, and that they are trying to keep their options open, but have a strong
interest in medicine and public health.
“I’m a question asker. I ask many questions. I know that I
want to know the ‘why’ to everything. That pulls me to science, and what pulls
me to biology is you can see the ‘why,’” Karimu said. “You can see it in the
animal’s adaptation, for example.”
The Skanner Foundation partners with organizations
throughout region to recognize high-potential students in Pacific Northwest
region, and presents scholarships during the foundation’s annual Martin Luther
King Jr. breakfast in Portland, Ore.
The USDA Forest Service is the foundation’s first federal
partner, and sponsored two $1500 scholarships in both the 2018 and 2019 awards
Because the 2019 breakfast took place during the federal
government shutdown, the Forest Service was unable to provide a representative
at this year’s breakfast to present Karimu and Nguyen with their awards.
During the March 13 reception, Regional Forester, Glenn
Casamassa said he wanted to ensure the students understood how much the agency
values them, and values its investment in their future.
For more information about the Skanner Foundation and the foundation’s scholarship program, visit www.theskanner.com and use the links listed under the “Foundation” tab.
Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff report.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Glenn Casamassa Regional Forester; USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region
“Can ‘Moneyball’ Fix How The West Manages Wildfire?” That’s the question posed by EarthFix reporter Tony Schick in a story posted today to Oregon Public Radio’s website.
He follows USDA Forest Service researchers, employees, and partners on their dive deep into the data for western wildfires, exploring the many factors that influence decisions pressures on when to fight fires, when to let them do their ecological work, and why it’s often hard for land managers to make that call.