Public engagement sessions scheduled for Forest Resiliency Project – Northeast Oregon Business News

Public engagement sessions scheduled for Forest Resiliency Project

The Ochoco, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests will host a series of public engagement sessions in March to discuss the Proposed Action for the Forest Resiliency Project.
 
The Forest Resiliency project is part of the Forest Service’s broader strategy to accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration in eastern Oregon and Washington to provide both healthy forests and healthy communities. The proposal aims to return the Blue Mountains to healthier conditions, reduce the risks of unusually large and severe wildfires, and reintroduce the natural role of fire to the landscape. The project will also contribute to local communities through reduced risk of fire spread to adjacent lands, increased jobs and supplemental benefits.
 
The purpose of the engagement sessions is to share information about the Forest Resiliency Project, encourage dialogue among participants with differing perspectives, identify key concerns, and create potential solutions that can be incorporated into the project as it moves forward. Public input from these sessions will help the Forest Service understand the issues and guide the planning process for this large landscape-scale project.
 
DATE & TIME
FOREST
MEETING LOCATION
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
6 p.m. -9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Umatilla National Forest
Clarkston, WA
Walla Walla Community College,
1470 Bridge St., Rm 107
Clarkston, WA, 99403
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Umatilla National Forest

Walla Walla, WA
Walla Walla Community College
500 Tausick Way, Rm 185
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Thursday, March 10, 2016
6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

Umatilla National Forest

Pendleton, OR
Pendleton Convention Center
1601 Westgate
Pendleton, OR 97801
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
6 p.m.-9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Umatilla National Forest

Heppner, OR
Heppner Ranger District
117 S. Main St.
Heppner, OR 97836
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Ochoco National Forest

Prineville, OR
Bowman Museum Annex
246 N Main St,
Prineville, OR 97754
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Enterprise, OR
Cloverleaf Hall
668 NW 1st St.
Enterprise, OR
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and
Umatilla National Forest

La Grande, OR
Blue Mountains Conference Center
404 12th St.
La Grande, OR 97850
Thursday, March 31, 2016
6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
(doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Baker City, OR
National Guard Armory
1640 Campbell St.
Baker City, OR 97814
Engagement sessions will only focus on topics as they relate to the Forest Resiliency Project. The Forest Resiliency Project reflects Forest Service commitment to focus on the urgent need to restore dry forest landscapes in eastern Oregon and Washington. The project proposes approximately 610,000 acres of thinning and prescribed fire treatments across the three National Forests in areas with the greatest restoration need. Proposed treatments by forest include:
118,000 acres of treatment on the Ochoco National Forest
212,000 acres of treatment on the Umatilla National Forest
280,000 acres of treatment on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
The Proposed Action for the Forest Resiliency Project was released for a 60-day scoping period on Feb. 5, 2016. The Forest Service will be accepting comments on the proposal until Apr. 5, 2016. The comment period is an opportunity for the public to be involved in the process and offer thoughts on alternative ways the Forest Service can accomplish the project purpose and need. A commenting station will be available at each of the public engagement sessions to allow the public to submit formal comments at the meetings.
 
Additional information on the Proposed Action can be found at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/forestresiliencyproject. Comments can be submitted online or by email: r6restorationprojects@fs.fed.us. Written comments may also be submitted to: Blue Mountains Restoration Strategy Team, 72510 Coyote Rd., Pendleton, OR 97801.
 
For more information on the public engagement sessions, please contact Darcy Weseman (541-278-3755, deweseman@fs.fed.us).