Category Archives: Featured News

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.

Future biologists awarded Forest Service -sponsored Skanner Foundation scholarships

Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa, 2nd from left, poses with the USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region's Skanner Foundation scholarship recipients Ganiyat Karimu, center, and Nikki Nguyen, second from left, and De La Salle North Catholic High School officials following a reception at the agency's regional office March 13, 2019 in Portland, Ore. USDA Forest Service photo by Scott Batchelder.

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 school-sponsored internship.

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 years.

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.

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)

Teens: Apply now for Youth Conservation Corps summer 2019!

youth wearing hard hats, holding shovels

Youth ages 15-18 who are interested in serving on Youth Conservation Corps crews working on forests in eastern, central and southern Oregon should check out the USDA Forest Service’s Youth Conservation Corps information page, which includes a link to current summer, 2019 job openings – including several in eastern, central and southern Oregon.

Applications are being accepted by USDA Forest Service partners for youth interested in serving on non-residential crews that will work on the Umatilla National Forest’s Heppner Ranger District (Heppner, OR), Willamette National Forest’s Middle Fork Ranger District (Oakridge, OR), and on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests (various districts; crews based in Bend, Prineville, Madras, Redmond, Warm Springs, Sistsers, Crescent, and LaPine, OR).

Non-residential crew members live in their local community and provide their own transportation to the ranger district office or other assigned meeting locations for transportation to the work site; lodging and living stipends are not provided.

The U.S. Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer youth employment program that engages young people, ages 15-18, in meaningful work experiences on national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries.

Youth are engaged in fun, exciting work projects designed to develop an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility such as: building and repairing trails, preserving and repairing historic buildings, removing invasive species, helping with wildlife and land research, and leading environmental education.

YCC supports the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, or 21CSC, mission to put thousands of America’s young people to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors.

Applicants must be:

  • At least 15 years old at the start of enrollment and must not reach age 19 before completion of the program
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., its territories, or possessions
  • Able to obtain a work permit as required under the laws of the applicant’s home state
  • Have a valid U.S. Social Security number or have applied for a valid Social Security number
  • Able to fulfill the essential functions of the assigned work with or without reasonable accommodations
  • Actively committed and willing to complete the assigned work projects

For more information and a link to current YCC job listings, visit: https://www.fs.fed.us/working-with-us/opportunities-for-young-people/youth-conservation-corps-opportunities?fbclid=IwAR2MZYpTQI907tbBxQylU0hvKlUItx-WUPEuIVHF9vRT7cuEn8Bmih8wYtk


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff report

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

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.

Noble Pacific NW Christmas Tree Illumines Capitol Hill

The public gathers around U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree after being officially lit during Lighting Ceremony on the west lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington DC, December 6, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

A daytime view of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC. The tree was harvested from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, on the Sweet Home Ranger District, and is decorated with some of more than 10,000 ornaments hand-crafted by Oregonians as a gift to the country. More than 70 smaller trees, adorned with more of these ornaments, decorate the inside of the building and other locations on the Capitol grounds. USDA Forest Service photo.

A daytime view of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC. The tree was harvested from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, on the Sweet Home Ranger District, and is decorated with some of more than 10,000 ornaments hand-crafted by Oregonians as a gift to the country. More than 70 smaller trees, adorned with more of these ornaments, decorate the inside of the building and other locations on the Capitol grounds. USDA Forest Service photo.

With a brief countdown and the flick of a switch, the towering U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill, lit up the dark.

Visitors from all across America, who stood in near freezing temperatures beneath the majestic pine, cheered as the tree’s thousands of lights glistened the ornaments made especially for it.

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Paul Ryan assists as 4th grader, Brigette Harrington shares her poem during the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, December 6, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Paul Ryan assists as 4th grader, Brigette Harrington shares her poem during the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, December 6, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, handed over the honor of lighting the tree to Brigette Harrington, a fourth grader from Hillsboro, OR, who won an essay contest about Oregon’s outdoors sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, and the non-profit organization Choose Outdoors.

 

Following a tradition of nearly fifty years, set by the Architect of the Capitol, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree comes from Forest Service -managed lands.

This year the Willamette National Forest in Oregon had the honors.

The massive tree is the first noble fir ever to be displayed on the West lawn of Capitol Hill as a national Christmas Tree.

Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen gives a speech during the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, December 6, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen gives a speech during the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, December 6, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

Additionally, tree growers from Northwest Oregon donated 75 smaller companion trees to adorn government office buildings in the Nation’s Capital.

For well over a year, a team from the Willamette Forest planned the 3,000 mile journey from Oregon to Washington, D.C.— an adventure dubbed by much of the national media as the “reverse Oregon Trail.”

And the folks on the Willamette Forest are the first to point out that didn’t do it alone.

Thousands of volunteers from the Sweet Home District of the Willamette Forest, where the tree was harvested, plus more than 80 sponsors and partnering organizations, helped in a logistical effort that, no doubt, Santa Claus will present next year to his elves and reindeer as a best practice example of proper gift delivery.

And what a gift.

At 75 feet tall, with over 10,000 handmade ornaments from all over the state of Oregon, few gifts can match the outpouring of love this tree, fondly called “The People’s Tree” inspires.

Until New Year’s Eve, anyone visiting Washington, D.C. can come and admire the truly noble Christmas tree.

A nighttime view of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC. The tree was harvested from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, on the Sweet Home Ranger District, and is decorated with some of more than 10,000 ornaments hand-crafted by Oregonians as a gift to the country. More than 70 smaller trees, adorned with more of these ornaments, decorate the inside of the building and other locations on the Capitol grounds. USDA Forest Service photo.

A nighttime view of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC. The tree was harvested from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, on the Sweet Home Ranger District, and is decorated with some of more than 10,000 ornaments hand-crafted by Oregonians as a gift to the country. More than 70 smaller trees, adorned with more of these ornaments, decorate the inside of the building and other locations on the Capitol grounds. USDA Forest Service photo.



Source information: Robert Hudson Westover works for the USDA Forest Service, Office of Communication. This story was originally posted on the USDA website, at: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2018/12/07/noble-christmas-tree-illumines-capitol-hill

‘Open Forest’ Christmas tree harvest e-permit pilot includes Mt. Hood NF

A screenshot from the welcome page on the Open Forest website: https://openforest.fs.usda.gov/christmas-trees/forests. The website will allow users on four National Forests, including the Mt. Hood National Forest, to purchase 2018 season Christmas Tree permits online. Image by USDA Forest Service.

SANDY, Ore. – The Mt. Hood National Forest is offering online Christmas tree permits through the Open Forest pilot program this holiday season!

The Mt. Hood National Forest is one of four National Forests participating in an online pilot program for holiday tree e-permits.

This pilot allows you to purchase your 2018 Christmas tree permit from the comfort of your own home, or by using your mobile device, instead of traveling to a Forest Service office or a local vendor.

These e-permits are good only for use on Mt. Hood National Forest, this holiday season.

Although purchased online, the permits must be printed to be valid.

You can learn more about purchasing your Mt. Hood holiday tree-harvest permit and gathering your Christmas tree online at: https://openforest.fs.usda.gov.

Holiday tree permits for all National Forests in the Pacific Northwest are also available at Ranger District visitor centers during regular business hours, and through many local vendors.

Permits cost $5 each; limit 3-5 permits per household (allowed quantities vary by forest, contact a local ranger district office for details specific to your area).

Safety advisory:

As the holiday season approaches, so does winter weather.  Weather changes rapidly at higher elevations and Forest Service roads are not maintained for winter travel. Carry traction devices, and be advised of winter road closures and any sno-park permit requirements (see Wash. Sno-Park and Oregon Sno-Park for info).

The Forest Service recommends you starting early in the day, and heading home well before dark. Here are some additional winter safety and holiday tree-harvesting tips:

  • Keep your family and your own safety in mind as you head out to look for a holiday tree; dress warmly and carry a forest map, snacks, and water.
  • Do not rely solely on your GPS, as electronic devices can stop working, or some information may not be accurate or up-to-date.
  • Bring items you’ll need to stay warm and dry, even if stranded outdoors without a working vehicle.
  • Have a trip plan; Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to return, and have a plan to contact law enforcement if you don’t arrive.
  • Remember to bring along a tool to cut your tree and rope or cord to secure it to your vehicle.
  • Don’t forget your first aid kit!
  • Our holiday tree webpage features a video with helpful hints for a successful holiday tree outing.

As a part of the “Every Kid” program, all fourth-graders can receive a holiday tree permit for free this season! They must have their Every Kid pass or voucher with them in order to receive their free holiday tree permit, and they must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. These special holiday tree permits can only be obtained at our official ranger district offices. For more information on the “Every Kid” program, please visit: www.everykidinapark.gov.

Holiday Tree permits on sale at National Forest offices

An evergreen adorned with handmade ornaments

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… time to visit your nearest national forest to find the perfect holiday tree for your home!

Christmas tree permits are available at National Forest offices and selected vendors throughout the Pacific Northwest for $5 each.

Each permit allows the holder to cut one tree in designated areas; each household can purchase up to a maximum of five permits.

For permit purchasing locations, contact your local national forest office (for a directory of USDA Forest Service offices in Washington and Oregon, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/about-region/?cid=stelprdb5341313).

More information:

Don’t forget:

As part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth-graders are eligible for a free holiday tree permit from their USDA Forest Service office, for use on their local national forest.

EKIP holiday tree ornament coloring page

4th-graders: Click the image above to download a coloring page, with instructions to visit www.everykidinapark.gov for information about how to claim your voucher for a free holiday tree permit from the USDA Forest Service, and get a free annual pass to explore federal lands across the U.S. this year with your family!

Visit the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov for more information about how fourth-grade students can claim their free tree permit voucher and a one-year annual pass to explore national forests and other public lands across the U.S.

Holiday Tree Graphic_FB



Source: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region public affairs staff

Mad River Trail gets BAER repairs; scheduled to re-open Spring 2019

Comparison - burned out and repaired sections of wooden retaining wall along the Mad River Trail

Until July 28, wooden walls provided a barrier to keep the neighboring hillside from eroding onto the the Mad River Trail.

But those walls burned, like so much else, when the Cougar Creek Fire burned through the area this summer.

Iron supports are all that remains of a wooden retaining wall on the Mad River Trail following the Cougar Creek fire.

Iron supports are all that remains of a wooden retaining wall on the Mad River Trail, and rocks and dirt had already begun to fall onto the trail before work performed to restore the wall in October, 2018. The work was part of the BAER, or Burned Area Emergency Response, work performed following the Cougar Creek fire, which started on July 28, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Sam Zook.

 

On a cloudy, slightly drizzly, day in late October, Forest Service trail and fire crews came together to rebuild 80 feet of soil retention walls on the Mad River Trail system.

“We knew from past experience the potential for a lot of erosion damage to occur to the trail in the areas where the walls had been,” Jon Meir, a recreation natural resources specialist for the Entiat Ranger District, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, said. “Luckily, through funding and crews made available by BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response), we were able to quickly replace burned segments of the erosion protection walls.”

The BAER, or Burned Area Emergency Response program, provides funds and resources to perform emergency stabilization work after a serious fire. The work starts even before the fire is out, and may continue for up to a year after a large wildfire occurs.

The goal of BAER efforts is to prevent further damage to life, property or natural resources on national forest system lands.

Iron supports and a few boards are all that remains of a wooden retaining wall on the Mad River Trail following the Cougar Creek fire.

Iron supports and a few boards are all that remain of a wooden retaining wall on the Mad River Trail, and rocks and dirt had already begun to fall onto the trail before work performed to restore the wall in October, 2018. The work was part of the BAER, or Burned Area Emergency Response, work performed following the Cougar Creek fire, which started on July 28, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Sam Zook.

“We needed to get this work done prior to autumn rains, winter blizzards, and spring downpours which would likely have caused erosion and significant trail damage. This would have led to additional work to repair the trail, additional cost, and longer repair time next summer,” Meier said. “Effects were decreased because we were able to accomplish this work immediately after the fire.”

Replacement of soil retention walls is just one part of the repair work needed on the Mad River Trail, which remains closed until more repairs are completed, which is scheduled to happen in the spring, 2019.

A repaired wooden retaining wall along the Mad River Trail

A repaired wooden retaining wall along the Mad River Trail on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in October, 2018. The repair work was part of BAER, or Burned Area Emergency Response, efforts performed following the Cougar Creek fire, which started on July 28, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Sam Zook.

“We recognize this is a very popular trail system, and trail repairs will be made as soon as possible in spring 2019, in April if the weather allows. Other infrastructure repair work, such as bridge repairs, won’t occur until additional funding is available,” Meier said.

But the work done in October will ensure the public is able to use the trail sooner than if erosion had been allowed to continue damaging the trail throughout the winter months.

Meier he will welcome help from anyone who wants to donate time to helping get the trail re-opened as soon as possible in the spring.

“Our trail crew will be starting repairs this spring, and volunteers are always welcome to participate. Just give me a call if you are interested in helping out,” Meier said.


Source information: Robin DeMario is a public affairs specialist for Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

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